Hykeem Williams is a five-star receiver and one of the most coveted prospects in the entire 2023 class.
That’s why his upcoming commitment on Friday is so crucial – and so controversial since various schools still feel pretty confident that the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan standout will pick their place.
Pitt, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Texas A&M and Alabama are the six schools Williams used in his graphic announcing his decision date but many feel this is a choice coming down to the Panthers, Seminoles and Aggies.
In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network make an argument for a particular school and then national recruiting director Adam Gorney issues his verdict as to where he sees Williams ending up.
RELATED: Ryan Wright ranks the contenders
“FSU went to the portal last off-season to improve the wide receiver room. Through the first two games Ontaria Wilson and Kentron Poitier led the team in both receptions and yards. Against Louisville Johnny Wilson, the transfer from Arizona State, put the nation on notice. Wilson had seven receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns. That performance as well as what Wilson and Poitier have done this season has helped with receivers like Hykeem Williams. The Fort Lauderdale star is the No. 1 outside receiver in the state of Florida this year. He has the size and speed that FSU lacks in their recruiting room. He is a complete player and one that can make an impact Day 1.
“The Seminoles have not had much success recruiting top-rated receivers to their program. Not since Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene have the Seminoles even had anyone with NFL potential. Wilson is the first guy in close to a decade that pro scouts will take a look at.
“While other programs have a legit shot at Hykeem, it is FSU that has sneaked its way into the lead. I am not ready to count out others but it looks like FSU will benefit from an early commitment. We feel the Seminoles will land his commitment come this Friday.” – Charles Fishbein, TheOsceola.com
“The case for Pitt comes down to one thing: relationships. Williams’ relationship with receivers coach Tiquan Underwood was strong enough to get the five-star prospect to take a serious look at Rutgers, and when Underwood was hired at Pitt, that interest transferred over to the Panthers, where it turned into a spring unofficial visit, one of two official visits he took in June and another unofficial visit for Pitt’s game against Tennessee two weeks ago.
“Over the course of those three visits, Williams’ connections to Pitt expanded from Underwood to the rest of the coaching staff, particularly head coach Pat Narduzzi and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. Williams and his family also felt at home in Pittsburgh, enjoying the city and the campus, and every time they left a visit, their affinity for what Pitt has to offer – on a lot of levels – seemed to grow. If Williams picks the Panthers, it will be a direct result of the relationships he and his family have built over the last six months.” – Chris Peak, Panther-lair.com
“If the Aggies are to land Williams, it’ll be for several reasons. First is the relationship he’s established with the coaching staff, primarily WR coach and primary recruiter James Coley. Second, he knows there’s playing time to be had. Freshmen Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall are already playing a lot (Stewart starts), and the Aggies are looking for more receivers who can stretch the field. Third, they can make the argument that they’re just a player or two away from being a top-five team, and he could be that player.” – Mark Passwaters, AggieYell.com
“My level of confidence that Texas A&M was going to be Williams’ pick was very high only a few months ago but Florida State has completely come into the picture here especially in recent weeks and the Seminoles have a legitimate chance to land his pledge. Williams loves the opportunity in Tallahassee. He’s absolutely hit it off with the coaching staff and the five-star paid his own way to New Orleans to see FSU beat LSU in the season opener. All that is big.
“But I’m going to stick with the Aggies. Williams was just back in College Station this past weekend, he’s a big Mike Evans fan, he’s had a longstanding relationship with that staff and sees Texas A&M closest to winning a national championship and developing him for the pros.
“This one is so close and not a lock one way or another with Florida State being the biggest competition but I’m going to side with the Aggies.” – Adam Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director