Trieu: Michigan State WR target Jace Williams adds size to 'unbelievable' skill
Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Jace Williams is primed for a big junior season after catching 18 touchdown passes as a sophomore. Just prior to the start of fall camp, Williams visited Michigan State and was offered a scholarship by the Spartans.
Williams now has offers from MSU, Kentucky, Nebraska, Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Toledo. A complete package of skills and off-field character has brought that about.
“No. 1, he is really good person and a high-character guy,” Catholic Central head coach Todd Kolster said. “He is a great student. Those are two great qualities, and then the physical part of it, he has an unbelievable skill set as a receiver. His ability to catch the ball, track the ball, control his body in awkward positions to get the ball caught is as good as anybody I’ve ever seen.”
Kolster has seen a lot of them, too, as he has coached on the college level (Hope College, Grand Valley State) as well as in high school. He and his staff have worked with Williams to continue his development this offseason. Nature helped with that, too.
“At this time last year, he was 6-foot-1½, 172 pounds and since then, he has grown to 6-foot-3½, 198 pounds,” Kolster said. “So last year, he had this breakout year because of his ball skills, and he is a great, smooth athlete. Now, I think having blown up in size and strength and worked at it, he can do so many more things as a wide receiver and he will be a hard guy to stop.”
In the spring, colleges were stopping into Catholic Central as part of the evaluation period. That is when the first scholarship offers arrived for Williams.
“He’s handled it really well,” Kolster said. “His parents are awesome, so that is a big factor. He has worked at it and he has two more years to work with us. We push him harder every single day and he is not looking for a quick fix or a short cut. He wants to do it the right way and develop himself. The offers started to validate some of the work he put in and from a confidence standpoint and an understanding standpoint, it helped him. Some kids it could be a negative, but he’s a great person with a great family background and that allows him to build off of it. And we keep him grounded here, we don’t have a problem getting on him and he knows that.”
Williams just turned 16, and Kolster jokingly remarked that he is not sure if he shaves yet. That is an indication that the physical maturation he has gone through is not finished yet.
Michigan State’s staff saw his talents first-hand in June when he attended the Spartans’ camp. That camp along with his film from last season were the catalysts for the recent offer.
“He’s really excited (about the Spartan offer),” Kolster said. “Those guys have done a really good job with him. I think it’s something that they planned on doing wanted to do for quite some time. Michigan State does a good job getting to know kids they're going to offer. Their staff handled it great, and Jace is really excited. He really likes the coaches he’s worked with and no question, getting that one was big for him.”
Spartans offer recent visitor
Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy junior offensive lineman Noah Josey was offered by Michigan State this week. He visited the Spartans at the end of July.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Josey is ranked as a top 10 junior in the state of Tennessee by 247Sports.
The Spartans join a host of southern schools on his offer list, including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and Kentucky. Penn State, Purdue and Michigan of the Big Ten have also offered.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.