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Devy Profile: Mario Williams, WR, USC

Mario Williams did not have the impact many thought in his freshman season. There were plenty of glimpses of his talent in 2021. Check out his profile to see what we can expect in year two.

There was a lot of hype for Mario Williams last year as he was looked to make an immediate impact at Oklahoma. He only had one game at Oklahoma with over 50 yards receiving, but there were issues all over the offense. Williams decided to follow other Sooners out to USC and looks to rebound with a stronger sophomore season. Let’s examine his freshman season and what he showed us on limited production.

Freshman Year at Oklahoma

Williams was a 4-star top 50 prospect in 2021 and the fourth-ranked WR according to 247 Sports. He had visits to Alabama and Florida before eventually committing to Oklahoma. He had moderate success in his first two games, scoring a touchdown in both contests. It would take another six games for him to score his next TD of the season.

Williams’s best game was against Texas Tech, with five receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. It seemed that he never clicked with either Spencer Rattler or Caleb Williams in 2021. He only had over three receptions in four of eleven games and finished with 35 receptions for 380 yards and four TDs. Like the whole team, he underachieved in what was supposed to be a big year for the Sooners.

Scouting Report

Williams will look to become more consistent in 2022. He had flashes of why he was such a highly ranked recruit. Let’s look at the scouting report for him based on his freshman tape.

Strengths

  • YAC Ability – He showed the ability to make defenders miss and get extra yards in the open field. Last year at Oklahoma he used speed to get outside and was utilized in the short passes and screen game well.
  • Tracks Ball– He showed some excellent body control at Oklahoma last year. In the spring game at USC, he showed great control in getting feet in bounds on throws in the corner of the endzone.
  • Separation – Williams is fast in and out of breaks. He can start and stop quickly to avoid defenders and gain a cushion for the quarterback. His speed allows him to quickly get off the line and gain an advantage right away on defenders.

Needs Improvement

  • Physicality – With a bigger role hopefully at USC, he will see more contact from defenders to disrupt his route running. Also, he struggled at blocking on the outside on designed run plays or quick screens.
  • Route Running – Williams is not a bad route runner. He gets in and out of breaks quickly. I would like to see him expand his route tree as many of his receptions were him coming across the middle or doing comeback routes.

2022 and Devy Outlook

Williams decided to follow Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams to USC. He will likely be the second option to fellow transfer Jordan Addison who won the Biletnikoff award last season. Williams will look to improve on his freshman season and then should be the main guy in 2023 in what should be an explosive offense in the Pac 12.

In the Dynasty Nerds Devy Rankings, Williams is the 13th-ranked WR and the fourth-ranked WR of the 2024 class. I currently have him at the same spot in the 2024 class but a little lower in the overall WR rankings at 17th. He showed some flashes last year but needs to see more consistent production, but that can be said about all the 2024 WRs except for Xavier Worthy at Texas.

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