It's not early to begin tracking the top lineman in Ohio in the current sophomore class, and one that sticks out is Alliance's Mike Williams (6-foot-3, 260-pounds).
After having a solid season last year as a freshman starter, Williams showed his improvement last June at Ohio State's summer camp. He also impressed last Friday in a scrimmage with Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas.
"It was great playing in this scrimmage, but this isn't like it is in the games," Williams stated. "I need to be more aggressive and I will be in the regular games. I'm more comfortable than I was last year as a freshman, when I was a little hesitant playing varsity football."
"Now, I'm more of a leader out here, which is needed since we lost a lot of seniors from last year's team," he added.
Williams has lost baby fat in the past year, while adding more muscle. He has quick feet and is poised to have a big year for the Aviators.
"I'm definitely better coming off the football than last year, and I think this will really show on defense," he explained. "I'm working on getting faster and playing lower. I really don't care what side of the football I play on at the next level, because I just want to play college football."
College recruiters will get a good look at Williams this season, although his recruitment probably will not accelerate until next summer's camp season.
"I'm not sure which school have contacted Coach (Mike) Schott yet, but it was great getting to meet the Ohio State coaches this summer at their camp," he continued. "I like Ohio State the best, and then I'm interested in LSU, Alabama, Wisconsin, and the bigger schools like them."
"Doing well at Ohio State gave me a lot of confidence," Williams stressed. "I wasn't able to go the underclass camp, so I went up against the seniors and did really well. I learned a lot about how to come off the ball and how to use my hands. Coach (Ed) Warriner said he was impressed and to keep working on my game."
EVALUATION: Although he worked out at offensive guard at Ohio State, I see Williams as a defensive lineman at the next level. An early comparison would be to Shaker Heights senior Donovan Munger at the same stage of development. He has the foot speed and strong lower body that could serve him well at defensive tackle.