Pitt became a finalist to land a promising 2022 offensive line recruit on Friday, as Desaun Williams, a guard out of Life Christian Academy in Chesterfield County, Virginia, released his top five and included Pitt alongside Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State and West Virginia.
AGTG...Shoutout to @zpeditzz pic.twitter.com/dg4zGHNbqc— TankWill (@desaunwilliams) January 23, 2021
The 6’4”, 315-pound lineman holds three-star ratings from 247Sports and Rivals, both of which count him among the top 25 guards in the nation. Rivals places him at No. 17 in the nation at his position, while 247Sports ranks him No. 21. And because of his reputation as a high-level contributor at his position, Williams has drawn offers from all over the country.
Williams received a total of 13 scholarship offers and cut eight programs from his offer sheet to reach his top five. The cuts included lower-tier programs like Buffalo, East Carolina and Liberty, but notable programs no longer in the running include Baylor, Boston College, Rutgers, South Carolina and Virginia, which is just 90 miles from Life Christian Academy.
Of course, Williams has noted that proximity isn't everything in his recruitment, and the relationships he has built with Pitt's coaches have been a key consideration for him.
"Pitt and I have the best relationship out of all of my offers, and that played a major factor into why they made my top five,” Williams told Mike Vukovcan of Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I just talked to [Pitt receivers coach Chris] Beatty and [Pitt offensive line coach Dave] Borbely the other day, and we talk and laugh. The genuine relationship we’ve built is no faking it.”
The recruit has the size and strength to easily keep pass-rushers at bay, and in his film, a typical play involves an oncoming defender crashing into him with all the efficacy of a Ford Pinto meeting a brick wall. Williams could make an impact at Pitt as a contributor on a young offensive line that recently lost interior linemen Jimmy Morrissey and Bryce Hargrove. And with two promising tackles already on the roster in Michael Statham and Matt Goncalves, the addition of Williams could help convert the Pitt line from a weakness to a strength.
With that said, Pitt could be waiting on a commitment for some time, as Williams has yet to set a decision date. And the program faces some stiff competition, especially from Maryland, which has recruited well in recent years and is Williams' closest option to home remaining. But given Pitt’s recent success recruiting Virginia, there’s room for optimism as Williams’ recruitment winds to a close.