The Oregon Ducks received a massive addition to the roster on Tuesday, securing a commitment from former Fresno State safety Evan Williams, a veteran playmaker with close ties to the Ducks.
Williams, who played in 33 career games with the Bulldogs, was a valuable contributor who could have tested the NFL draft waters this offseason. Instead, he entered the transfer portal and, after a visit to Eugene over the weekend, decided he wanted to finish his collegiate career as a Duck.
The fact Williams chose Oregon does not come as a major surprise. His older brother, Bennett Williams, just put a cap on his long career with the Ducks, going down as one of the biggest fan favorites on both the 2021 and 2022 rosters. While Bennett is out of eligibility, his safety spot on the defense will likely be taken over by Evan, who did well to fill the stat sheet in his four years at Fresno State.
Evan Williams’ Transfer Portal Profile
Fresno State Bulldogs
2022: 10 Games | 69 tackles, 6.0 TFL 1 sack, 4 PBU,
2021: 12 Games | 90 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 INTs, 4 PBU, 2 fumble recoveries,
2020: 4 Games | 27 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 2 PBU, 1 FF
2019: 7 Games | 40 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 fumble recovery
The safety position is in flux for the Oregon Ducks. A handful of players — Bryan Addison, Steve Stephens IV, Jamal Hill — have not announced whether they will return for the 2023 season. One of the players we know will not be back is Bennett Williams, Evan’s older brother. Regardless of who else stays, it’s clear the Ducks need to add some experience and depth to that position. Williams is arguably the perfect person to do it.
He filled the stat sheet in four years with the Bulldogs and brings a playmaker’s mentality to Oregon’s defense. At this point, it’s hard to argue against the notion that he will be in line to start for the Ducks early on this fall.
Mountain View, California
Williams commits to Fresno State on Feb. 23, 2019
Williams enters transfer portal on Jan. 4, 2023
Williams commits to Oregon on Jan. 10, 2023