2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 31 Duke Williams, Auburn
SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
31. Duke Williams, Jr., WR, Auburn
Gus Malzahn’s latest coo, a top-rated JUCO transfer and matchup nightmare on the outside, steps in as Auburn’s second option in the passing game behind Sammie Coates, one of the SEC’s best deep threats last season. Coates can breathe easy knowing there’s a target on the other side of the line just as lethal with 26 career touchdown catches in two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
While it’s not fair to make Randy Moss comparisons just yet, the athletic wideout already possesses the lanky leaper’s super glue hands and jumping ability. He’s that good. On highlight tapes, Williams is the guy out-running opposing secondaries after catching a slant in stride across the middle or snaring a go route near the sideline.
Auburn fans received a small dose of his talent during the spring game when he caught five passes for 88 yards and a score from Nick Marshall. On his touchdown grab, Williams high-pointed a jump ball in the corner of the end zone in man coverage before crashing out of bounds to a loud applause. That’s the kind of skill he’ll bring to a revitalized passing game every Saturday this fall.
2013 statistics: In two JUCO seasons, Williams hauled in 118 catches for 2,028 yards and 26 touchdowns.
2014 projection: He’s wearing No. 1 for a reason — expect 700 yards + 8 TD this fall as an impact addition.