COLUMBUS — Kourt Williams will have to wait to validate the buzz about his bright future at Ohio State.
The versatile, four-star freshman who looked poised to carve out an early on-field role while also establishing himself as a future leader for the program will miss the season after suffering a knee injury during training camp. Multiple sources confirmed to Lettermen Row that Williams would require surgery for an ACL injury, pushing back his anticipated debut with the Buckeyes indefinitely.
Williams had his black stripe removed last month and was the first defender in his class to earn that honor signifying a player is officially ready to represent Ohio State, and that followed plenty of glowing reviews from teammates and coaches about the way the hybrid linebacker/safety handles his business.
“I’ll be surprised if he’s not a captain when he’s here,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said in the offseason. “I’ve said that to him and his parents a million times. They’re probably tired of hearing me say that. He was a state champ in California, which is not easy to do. He comes from a great program, same program as Wyatt Davis, and the coaches at [St. John] Bosco do an unbelievable job.
“To go and win the way they did in the state championship, play the way that they played, he’s playing at a high level, and he’s got a lot of versatility. He can do a lot of things. You can use different things with them, and those are the kind of guys you want.”
The Buckeyes ideally wanted to turn Williams loose in the Bullet role. And it looked like it might not take him long to fill that dynamic position, one he also played in high school that takes advantage of his ability to both stop the run as a sure tackler while also being able to drop into coverage agains the pass.
But for now, those plans with Kourt Williams are on hold. His freshman season at Ohio State will have to wait.