Depth chart should determine what position Juwaan Williams ultimately plays for Oregon.
With Tucker (Ga.) three-star athlete Juwaan Williams now in the fold for the Ducks, Oregon currently lays claim to 16 verbal commitments (including JUCO linebacker Joe Walker, who has signed a letter of intent and is currently enrolled) and will likely aim to take six or seven more prospects to round out their 2013 recruiting class.
In Williams, the Ducks get a versatile athlete capable of starring at a myriad of positions on either offense or defense for Oregon. A quarterback for his high school team, Williams has an athletic skill-set comparable to Oregon sophomore-to-be wide receiver Bralon Addison, making him an intriguing option at receiver if Oregon elects to go that route. Yet, it would seem that Williams will be destined to make his first impact for the Ducks on defense -- either at cornerback or safety -- as Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal has led the recruitment for Williams. In interviews, Williams has said that he believes his talents are best suited for offense, though he has often backed that up with statements saying that he'd be very open to playing defense as well.
At corner, Williams would be forced to compete right away with established veterans such as Terrance Mitchell, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Troy Hill, and Dior Mathis; all of whom will be juniors next season. Additionally, Stephen and Eric Amoako will each have a year of experience under their belts coming off redshirt seasons and Williams will have to contend with fellow incoming freshman Chris Seisay for immediate reps on the field. Moving to safety, the waiting line for playing time may be worse. Veterans Avery Patterson, Brian Jackson, and Erick Dargan will receive the bulk of the reps, while Reggie Daniels, Issac Dixon, Oshay Dunmore, and perhaps one of the Amoako twins will help provide depth along with incoming freshman, Tyree Robinson.
Offensively, the only players Oregon loses to graduation at wide receiver heading in to next season are Rahsaan Vaughn and Will Murphy; two players who played sparingly last season. If Williams were to have an impact there, he would have to beat out a number of players who earned their stripes last season. Josh Huff, Daryle Hawkins, Bralon Addison, Keanon Lowe, and B.J. Kelley are elder statesmen with experience and production, where as Eric Dungy, Dwayne Stanford, and Chance Allen are all champing at the bit to make instant impacts. This, coupled with verbal commitments of Darren Carrington and Devon Allen, could create an immediate uphill battle for Williams at the position.
In the end, it may take a season of redshirting to figure it out, but where Williams ultimately ends up will likely have plenty to do with the depth chart and the level of comparative obstruction that could delay him stepping foot on the field at each position. While there may not seem to be a definite role carved out for him on the depth chart at the moment, that doesn't mean Williams isn't vitally important to this recruiting class. As one of the most coveted recruits by the Oregon coaching staff this cycle, the prevailing feeling is to simply get Williams on campus and saddle yourself with the luxury of struggling to find a place where Williams can excel.