Name: McKinley Williams
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 270 lbs
Class: Redshirt Senior
Hometown: Miramar, Fla.
High School: Dillard
2020 stats: Bear was asked to move to the nose tackle position in the newly adopted 3-3-5 Syracuse Orange defense, and he stepped up to the plate; Starting all 11 games, Williams racked up 35 tackles, 8 for a loss, and 1 sack. The Redshirt Senior did exactly what was asked of him, which was to take up as much space as possible in the middle of line and allow for the edge rushers and linebackers to reach the backfield.
2021 projections: Williams was a fringe NFL Draft prospect going into the offseason, so his return as part of the Unfinished Business crew (Chris Elmore, Josh Black, Aaron Servais, himself) was a pleasant surprise. With no real challengers on the depth chart, Williams will again be the starting nose tackle, and be expected to be a bear and maul as many offensive linemen as possible.
How’d he get here?: After a different kind of offer list came knocking (Pitt, Middle Tennessee, Idaho), the young Florida Man chose the Orange.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Everyone said 2 stars, except for Scout, who gave three. Good Scout. Be like Scout.
Twitter feed: The man is very smart and does not tweet.
Tweets of wonder: If you didn’t read all of the above, here’s a reminder that Williams is a beast.
Highest run stop percentage in 2020, returning ACC— ACC Content (@ACContent__) July 25, 2021
1. Nick Jackson, UVA - 12.9%
2. Payton Wilson, NCST - 12.4%
3. Isaiah Moore, NCST - 10.1%
4. Drake Thomas, NCST - 7.4%
5. McKinley Williams, Cuse - 7.3% pic.twitter.com/xtlJmyVgtU
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Given McKinley’s nickname, “Bear,” how about 2015’s The Revenant. It’s a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio screaming and being by himself and fighting bears. But it’s also about overcoming overwhelming odds and comebacks — something Williams and Syracuse can probably find some inspiration in for 2020.
Interesting nugget o’interest: Williams is the last man standing on ‘Cuse’s campus from Dillard High School. Kenneth Ruff was the other on the roster, with the Orange recruiting Nyjalik Kelly to keep the pipeline alive.
Let’s get a look at ya: Here’s Williams’ lone sack from 2020 on some QB named Trevor Lawrence.