AP NEWS

Miles Williams, Wyoming cornerback commit and early enrollee, stands out on and off field

December 16, 2017

Miles Williams was a late bloomer physically.

“He started out as an undersized kid, but his dad was a linebacker back at Oregon back in the day, so he’s a good sized kid,” Pacifica (California) High School coach Michael Moon said. “So we knew he was going to have size, but he really didn’t get his size until going into his junior year.”

But Williams isn’t getting a late start on his collegiate career. Quite the opposite. The cornerback, who verbally committed to Wyoming earlier this month, will graduate from high school in January and begin taking classes in Laramie just a few days later.

“My high school coach, Coach Moon, told me that if you really want to have an advantage going to college or you want to get bigger offers, just to sell myself as an early graduate,” said Williams, whose father is Andre Williams. “So I decided to make that decision and go through with it. And it’s really paid off.”

Moon said some local five-star recruits enrolled early last season, and it piqued Williams’ interest in the idea. Personally, he’s never had a player do it.

“I’ve been in this area from 17 years, and to be honest with you, I’ve coached a good amount of players that have signed Division-I,” Moon said, “but very few of them had grades as good as Miles’. So for him, whether he was a football player or not, I think he would’ve graduated early and gotten to college in the spring.”

Still, it wasn’t easy.

“I was on track, but it’s just the amount of hours you have to put in,” Williams said. “Because I had to take two summer school classes, and I was on vacation during the summer and then I had football practice. It was just a lot, and I had to do two summer school classes like within a month. That was a lot. It was almost overwhelming, but in the end it was all worth it.”

Williams has done more than just excel in the classroom. Moon recalls when he first realized Williams could have a future in football.

“This is kind of a newer school, and the best football team we’ve had since the beginning of the school was (Williams’) junior year,” Moon said. “And the second game of the season, he’s going against (Moorpark receiver) Zane Pope, who’s at Fresno State right now, and he just kind of played out of his mind.

“We ended up up beating one of the premier teams in the county, and basically his heroics at the end of the game on third-down and fourth-down plays against a Division-I quarterback and top receivers (decided it). And I’m like, ’Man, this kid might be able to play at the next level.

“At the time he was probably about 6 feet tall. Since then, he had a phenomenal junior year and has been lights out as a corner as a senior, and now he’s about 6-2, 180 pounds and just a physical specimen at the corner spot.”

Williams, who was primarily recruited by Wyoming cornerbacks coach John Richardson, also had offers from Colorado State and New Mexico, among others, and San Diego State showed interest. One of numerous Southern California commits in Wyoming’s 2018 class, Williams took his official visit to Wyoming for the Cowboys’ win over New Mexico in October.

Miles plans to make his commitment to Wyoming official Wednesday when the early signing period begins.

“For me, it was more of their consistency about recruiting and the fact that they have a strong football culture, and the whole program’s mentality is about development,” Williams said. “That’s what I really found attractive about Wyoming.”

Williams will officially graduate Jan. 17 after completing an online course. He expects to get to Laramie before classes begin Jan. 22.

It’s a tight turnaround, but his high school coach has no shortage of faith in him.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve had the privilege to coach a lot of guys who go to the next level, including a couple guys in the NFL, and he is by far the hardest-working kid,” Moon said. “He works like an untalented kid, but yet, he’s a 6-2, 180-pound kind of specimen that has good genes and good athleticism.

“But he’ll outwork everybody. And for that reason, they’re lucky to have him.”