ESPN projects true freshman Mario Williams as a breakout star in 2021

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Oklahoma Sooners’ true freshman Mario Willaims is drawing hype entering the 2021 college football season. The former five-star recruit will be another vertical threat for Spencer Rattler downfield. He has the skills to beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage and for a month straight, teammates and coaches have praised his speed throughout offseason practices. The Florida native is already turning heads in Crimson and Cream.

Since arriving in Norman, he has exceeded lofty expectations. The spring game flashed his big-play capability for the first time and fans had a visual to pair with the “breakout” praise that had become synonymous with his name. He notched five catches for 84 yards. The annual exhibition game is not a true test but it did prove his ease and confidence on the field in Lincoln Riley’s system. He carried himself like an upperclassman and looked prepared for the occasion.

ESPN recently listed Mario Williams as one of the true freshmen to break out in 2021 (subscription required).

Explosive receivers and Oklahoma have become synonymous under Lincoln Riley. Marvin Mims returns after a sensational freshman season, and now it’s Mario Williams’ time to shine. He doesn’t have great size (5-9, 181 pounds), but is exceptionally quick, electric after the catch and versatile. He also was a star baseball player in high school. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler said in the spring that Williams was one of the fastest guys on the team, adept at getting open and “could do it all.” Sounds like Mims won’t be the only big-play receiver Rattler will be looking to get the ball to this fall.

Last year, it was freshman Marvin Mims garnering the spotlight and despite the talent in the receiver room, this year could be another stellar campaign from a young ascending player. Williams possesses elite speed that has been lacking. On an island downfield in single coverage, I would place my bet on Williams. As an early enrollee, he has not even scratched the surface of what he is capable of. Keep an eye on No. 4.