What a Catch! Four-Star Wideout K.J. Williams Gives Verbal to Syracuse

The second-best player in PA is closer to landing in Orange, a huge feat.

Lehigh Valley Express Times

After years of seeing the big fish in the recruiting sea bypass the Orange for a bigger program, Syracuse inches closer to reeling in its man. Highly coveted wide receiver K.J. Williams gave a verbal commitment  to SU yesterday, making him the eighth pledge in the 2014 class. Williams is a 4-star target who has been on SU’s radar ever since his cousin A.J. Long pledged to SU. K.J. is also cousins with current WR Jarrod West, who could be poised for a breakout season.

Williams’ decision boiled down to Syracuse and Michigan. At one point, sources said Williams was leaning towards Michigan until the Wolverines received three verbals from other 4-star WRs. Williams will have the chance at earlier playing time at SU than he would have in Ann Arbor. Also, the opportunity to catch passes thrown by his cousin was too attractive to say no. The QB/WR connection that may form between A.J. and K.J. could be wildly exciting.

K.J.’s talent is through the roof. The Liberty (PA) High School product is 6’2”, 190 lbs. and listed by Rivals as the second best player in the Keystone State. His commitment brings SU’s class rank up to 57th in the nation. However, this commitment is far from a lock, since Williams gave a “soft verbal.”. Unlike his cousin who got a tattoo committing himself to the program, Williams says he will be listening to what other programs have to say, according to Syracuse.com. While it’s never comfortable to see a commit openly keep his options on the table, his dream school of Miami may be the only one he would leave for, The Hurricanes already have two big wide receiver commits in the class and have not showed much interest.

This commitment represents more than just another wide receiver pledge for this program. Williams proves how family and regional connections, along with social media recruiting by other commits, has paid dividends for the Orange. Current verbal commits of the 2014 class have been all over Twitter trying to recruits players they feel would mesh well with the rest of the class. The majority of the class has been tweeting at players such as Chad Mavety, Deion Hallmon, and Aaron Roberts in an effort to bring the best talent to the class. It’s also interesting that another wideout chooses the Orange since George McDonald comes to SU as a wide receivers coach at Miami.

Also, the program finally has shown the ability to entice highly sought after recruits to come. Doug Marrone helped bring this program back to respectability, but when would the big names finally going to play in the Dome? SU might not be locking up NYC like previously, but landing a 4-star playmaker and a hard-hitting linebacker from a better football state like Pennsylvania is even better.

Posted: Zephan Mayell

49 Comments on this Post

  1. Willie Chestnut


  2. Malone

    Hold on tight. Feel this will be a wild ride to February. I am not feeling too strong on Mavety. I think Roberts will choose Orange. Hallmon is anyone’s guess, but our shot is as good as the other four. FSU is our toughest matchup there. We don’t have what WVU has for him, and he seems to like Rutgers a lot, but FSU is closest to home, and also in the ACC. WVU seems to be tweeting him a lot.

  3. Frank

    Go Cuse beat Penn St!

  4. Terry

    Great hands and great speed to. But his QB had that Paulus like shove pass(duck-like). If his QB at SU has any kind of arm he’ll even look better.

    Loved that one stadium with(looked like concrete)walls!! I think it had a block “S” at mid-field!! That looks old school to me and hard nosed as well. The next stadium for SU ought to have that fixture. Concrete them in and put a whooping on them!!!!

    I just hope Williams mans-up and holds true to his word!!

  5. Syracuses 2013/2014 roster list 24 seniors that will graduate,leaving open another 16 spots to fill for next years class.

    KJ Williams commitment to Syracuse should open some eyes and bring in some more top tier recruits. It’s going to be interesting.

  6. Mademan

    About damn time Cuse! Great pickup because even thou I am a bonifide Orange hater, KJ is a beast.

  7. Russell MacEachern

    Give the credit or the blame when all is said and done to AJ Long!!He (KJ) visited last year and writ us off before AJ committed and we weren’t even on his radar until AJ made promises better left to his cousin!Hang on guys till NLOI day 8 months geez..can’t we ever relax?That guy was not recruited by anyone but AJ

  8. Russell MacEachern

    Give the credit guys or blame to AJ when all is said and done!!Before AJ commited he wasn’t even a potential target!!He visited last year and wasn’t sold on Dougie!Hang on till NLOI day 8 monthes from now on this “commit”!…geez,can’t we ever relax?

  9. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,whats with the certain posts needing to await moderation?We being screened?I don’t like it…reeks of Oh never mind!!Same post worded slightly different 1 second later is OK w/o moderation?

  10. Russell MacEachern

    Terry,that was Paulus shuffle pass aquired in hoops!Please don’t mention the heights of our despair!

  11. @Russell McEachern;

    Ron,whats with the certain posts needing to await moderation?

    What are you talking about Russell?

  12. Gilbert

    I understand why everyone is so happy and it feels real good, BUT from what he said, if you’re a realistic person, you’re scratching your head and this is not set in stone

  13. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,Im not sure its fizz??Maybe a double click?They did’nt have the chance to monitor the post?Just paranoid probably Ron!!Its not like this site anyway!

  14. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,I tried to edit my wording and partially must have clicked a small piece of submit button?It happened once before last August and I didn’t know what I did but no interferance in my posts!I know some of the crappy sites have moderators who try to frame the conversation but this ain’t one of them!

  15. Russell MacEachern

    @Gilbert,I know Im supposed to be happy but I’m having trouble assimilating his signal’s which makes make temper my hope’s!!All we need is honesty!!

  16. Russell MacEachern

    One of my 1104 posts I doubled clicked and it immediately came up but superimposed in the post said “this post needs to await moderation”?But its right next to the post I sent right after it?Maybe WordPress created the “problem”?All’s well that ends well!Computer quirk?

  17. Russell MacEachern

    Mademan showing tha Jersey class!Thanks guy!

  18. I just finished reading an article that we might be getting another recruit soon.

    It looks like 3* 6’0″ 190 lb Cornerback Lamar Dawson out of St. Rita HS Chicago IL. is about to make a commitment as to where he would like to play. Could it be another recruit out of Illinois wanting to play for Coach Shafer?

    Schools of interest for this young man are;
    Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Syracuse, Toledo, Western Michigan

    I think lamar would be another fine addition to the team.

  19. @Terry;

    I want to make reference on an article posted last week about Connecticut out recruiting Syracuse this year. Well if this is true,then how is Syracuse ranked #57,Maryland #64 and Connecticut #106?Terry I also read about the success Kentucky is having this year and the experts are already starting to ask if they’re going to maintain momentun and keep the recruits that have committed.

    Sound familar Terry?

  20. Smitty Section 129

    Great pickup. Hope him and Long stay committed. The bad taste Zach Allen and Augustus Edwards left in our mouths will take a while to get rid of. This coaching staff will out recruit Marrones hand down. If Gross was smart he should give McDonald a nice salary to keep him aboard. I honestly think we beat Penn State. If we can get some QB play and the Defensive Line steps up, watch out this team will be tough to beat.

  21. The Lone Dipper

    Got off work, cruised Syracuse New York, looked online and nearly soiled myself……holy liquidated poop: KJ is a soft verb!

  22. Terry

    Ron Rivals have SU at 58!! My main source!! I only commented on poorer or same talented programs as SU. Any thing above 58 counts now. Last week it was 76!! If SU can’t out recruit UConn and Maryland its a disgrace. But Maryland does have some great home town talent grown through out that state. And Maryland does get its fair share of its local kids, unlike SU!!

    For Russ the double clicker guy!! How about this conspiracy for your collection?? No sign as of this time for 4 star Mr Williams on bottom line on ESPNU. Maybe I missed it but 95% of the time that rolls on for 2 days. That’s what SU needs to get its word out. That’s a “dis” if I ever saw one fron ESPNU. Its not like you see SU there over n over and get bored with it like Alabama, USC, ND, FSU and etc!!

    dougie fans out there!! Also on ESPNU they mentioned college HCs that went NFL and current College coaches that might jump to the NFL!! NO FRIGGING dougie mention at all. GOT TO LOVE THAT!! Buffalo arm pit of the world or is it NJ too!!

  23. Russell MacEachern

    Terry,yeah I noticed they (ESPN)didn’t give us credit like they seem to do for all the teams we don’t give a s**t about?That’s great advertising on the espn crawl!!4* no mention?Your right Terry…that’s wrong!

  24. Gilbert

    I don’t think a 4 star recruit is that big of news on the national scene. Although I agree with you TERRY I would like to see it. We’re gonna have to start competing dor ACC championships to get that attention. We have been a doormat and the word is getting out slowly that we’re making a comeback. We have a new coach (1st time) and a lot of question marks. This could be two years before we start getting a lot of respect (if we play are cards right)

  25. OrangeCrush27

    I like our WR’s for the future if KJ signs on NLOI day

  26. cuse309

    The reason he’s not on the “4 star espn scroll” is because espn has him ranked as a 3 star.

  27. Russell MacEachern

    cuse309,yeah but most schools are mentioned for 3* and up recruits?Maybe we missed it cause it happened on a holiday weekend?We have to stop thinking like the sky is falling since our bad run as when you look at it this is a very good class up till now!If we finish with even mostly 3*s and even one more 4* this should be a top 40 area class!I remember Cinncy had a 18 player 3* class with 3 2*s and no 4*s and was 43rd nationally!!

  28. Russell MacEachern

    I don’t think any fan base is happy with their rankings unless there top 15 or so!!Lets face it I think maybe we protest’s too much (esp me)lol!!

  29. @Russell MacEachern;

    We have often talked about the importance of locking down the state by getting the good talent to stay home.

    Lets talk Texas here for a moment. Have they fallen on hard times? They’ve recruited top 10 classes over the last 10 years. They’ve locked down the State of Texas with recruiting during that time. They’ve got their own TV deal,have a hell of a good coach(Mack Brown)leading the pack,making $5 million a year. None of that matters though because they haven’t won the Big 12 Conference or played for the national Championship in years.

    I’ve read where if Mack Brown doesn’t have a winning season this year,win the Big 12 and go to a BCS game Jan.1st,that he’s finished as the head coach of Texas.

    Bringing in the top(in-state)talent every year doesn’t guarantee you a winning team.Getting the players that want to play the game hard and with heart is the type of players that are needed.

  30. Russell MacEachern

    Yes Ron I think about that sometimes when I’m unhappy with our recruiting?Look at ND and Mich too?They stock up on 4* and 5* guys who for some reason can’t put it together!We should relax and let HCSS do his thing then if he don’t deliver we can complain!He’ll get a pass this year anyway but if he win’s ol MOmentum will be on our side!

  31. Terry

    But to be behind DUKE(have you seen their fb field)its a disgrace!! Yes they(Duke) have a great coach now but nowhere near the facilities of a super team yet alone SU. So far SU’s expectations for recruting this year have fallen short of what a rebuilding should look like. Yes its much better that terrible dougie years, but still way behind since SU is bottom feeding the ACC in recruting!! Williams bumped up SU for sure, but SU is still at the bottom. I feel SU lost more than it gained this year in recruiting. Look who turned SU down so far!! In the 50’s rated recruiting classes only gets SU 6,7 or a super year 8 wins(not counting the years below that). That’s not going to do it in the ACC!!! There’s teams of equal or lesser value WAY ahead in the rankings and their records will show it. The hype just ain’t there for now!!

  32. @Terry;

    I’ looked at the national class rankings this morning and I need help in understanding how they work. So please,if anyone can shed light on the matterplease do.

    Duke has 11 total commits, and is showing that they have 0(5*),0(4*) and 7(3*)recruits and ranked #45

    Syracues has 8 total commits and is showing that they have 0(5*),1(4*) and 4(3*)recruits and ranked #58.

    I believe the people who are running this site are using the same fuzzy math that the dumb ass politicians are using in Washington DC.

    Duke has a 11 total and only shows 7 commits. Where are the other 4 listed?
    Syracuse has a total of 8 and shows 5 commits on the board. Where are the other 3?

    Terry you follow the class rankings religiously,so please explain the workings of it all to the rest of us that don’t.

    Terry,can you see why people like me are skeptical of these website that post this information?

  33. @Russell MacEachern;Terry;

    I don’t believe a damn thing about what they have to say about Syracuse Athletics. If you have been paying attention over the last 10-20 years,not one good thing has ever been said about the program. Look at their website,very little is ever said about our programs.

    Espn has KJ Williams listed as a 3* athlete,while rivals and scout.com websites have him listed as a 4* athlete.
    Do the people who are doing the rating, connecting the stars with the players,are they all looking at the same information? If so,then why the differences?

    Why is it,when another university recruits a 3* player,it becomes national news to ESPN? When we get a highly talented 3* recruit,it doesn’t mean much and people will always tell the rest of us that that’s the best Syracuse will ever do? I think that the pundits are either jealous or biased in their reporting and showing us all just how frigging stupid they all are.

    I take the recruits that Coach Shafer is bringing in this year. Taking a close look a the 8 recruits,7 out of the 8 are hard working individuals and have set goals for themselves. They want to win,and so do the fans. Let’s all be patient and see what happens at the end of the year. I for one still see good things happening for the football program. And I do see Syracuse breaking into the top 35-40 range on the national rankings begore it’s over and done with.

  34. Dr. Bill

    Just a thought: The post Standard has a picture in today’s issue of KJ, his cousin AJ and Zair Franklin the line backer. There is a clear height difference between the three. How can AJ be 6-2 and Franklin be 6-1, when Franklin appears taller than AJ. And, KJ appears to be more then one inch taller than his cousin AJ.

  35. Russell MacEachern

    Dr Bill,I noticed that in another pic…AJ is only 5’11” by my guess timates!!Not unusual..most add an inch here and there..esp at WR and QB!!KJ is a legit 6’1″ 195!!AJ Williams is probably 5’11” or so 180?Moskal is shorter than listed too!!

  36. Russell MacEachern

    Franklin is probably legit at 6’1″ as he was listed at 5’11” 190 last year as a Jr 3rd team all state in S.Jersey at 16 years old!

  37. Russell MacEachern

    AJ needs to put on 15/20 lbs or be like greased lightning…no wonder he’s listed as an athlete on most sites not a QB!!

  38. Malone

    Guys, As far as class rankings go, it is a running argument that changes all the time. The key ingredients are numbers and cash. What I mean is no player below a 3* will be listed. All players are given a point value based on their ranking. The points are totaled and the rankings taken from that. A program with more commits tends to rank above one with less simply because 2×3=6 whereas 1×4=4. I hope this makes some sense. Where the cash comes in is simple. Most of these sites are pay sites. The sites rate players in conjunction with the number of subscribers claiming aliegence to a team. If UK has more subscribers than SU (and it probably does), UK commits will be given the rating benefit of the doubt, to make the subscribers happy. So between skewed rankings and a way too simple math rating, SU is not at the top of the list… yet.

  39. #CuseTwitterArmy

  40. @Malone;

    Thanks for clearing that up for me. It all makesto me now.

  41. Malone

    @Ron – No problem. Not sure if I am entirely right, but that’s how I understand it from the description I got.

  42. @Malone;

    For me,those class rankings means absolutely nothing. But for those of us that do follow them. I want to ask what revelance do they have from year to year?

    For example;if Syracuse were to get a #1 class ranking for 2014,wouldn’t that stay with the team over the next 3-5 years? It would only be lowered based on graduation rates and players leaving early for the NFL. Wouldn’t it? What happens if in 2015 Syracuse falls to a #3 class ranking? would that mean that the talent in 2015 would bump up the remaining members of the #1 call of 2014?

    Huckleberry;your explanation is better than the people who like to argue/debate the point,over and over and over again.

  43. Malone

    The class rankings only pertain to the recruiting class of a particular year. You will still see people say “They had the #1 recruiting class in 2012 they should be better this year”, or “the depth they’ve created by having consecutive top ten recruiting classes should finally show on the field”, and it may come in to play as a factor of expectation for pre-season rankings and prognostications, but it has no impact on the next recruiting class ranking, except to say that if they have so many strong players in house already that they can only take on 15 schollys, then the numbers game comes in to play again and that class will be lower ranked just because of the number of recruiits, as described above. Or if the higher ranked positions happen to be ones that you are solid at, so you won’t get the 4* who wants to see the field rather than wait his turn. That more than anything is why class rankings should not matter.

    If you pull in the best player in the country, but only have room for him and five others, you didn’t do poorly, you still landed the best player in the country, but your class ranking may tank (these things are still opinion based). The worry is that recruits let these things influence them. I’d hate to think that exact same scenario in trying to land the #1 guy and he says, “they are slipping, I don’t want to go there”. It’s on the coaches to make sure the recruits understand this, the rankings are for the fans. It’s how these sites generate interest and subscribers.

  44. @Malone;

    You’ve cleared the field of land mines huckleberry. Thanks a million,it’s a privalage talking to one so knowledgeable on how the class ranking system works.

    You’ve given us all in debth analysis on a subject that’s been heavily discussed on this website. You’ve made it a whole lot clearer for me. I appreciate the effort.

    Oh!! Syracuse slipped another spot to #59 today.

  45. Russell MacEachern

    Sometimes its not that we slipped BUT someone else is gaining!!

  46. @Dr. Bill;

    Just asking a question;Are you the same Dr. Bill that use to call the Brent Axe show when he was on tv? Do you live close by in any of the surrounding area encompassing the City of Syracuse?

  47. Russell MacEachern

    Above where I mention “Franklin” I meant Cabinda is an honest 6’1″ too as is Zaire Franklin!!

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