Four-star QB Jakhari Williams commits to Georgia Tech’s 2024 class

Georgia Tech interim coach Brent Key has been a central part of quarterback Jakhari Williams’ recruitment. (Daniel Varnado/for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Georgia Tech interim coach Brent Key has been a central part of quarterback Jakhari Williams’ recruitment. (Daniel Varnado/for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Going back to the spring, the recruiting interest in quarterback Jakhari Williams of First Presbyterian Day School in Macon has been serious.

“We’ve had every Power Five (school) you can imagine has been on campus, particularly last spring,” coach Greg Moore said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’ve had guys fly in, drive out to campus, watch him work out for 20 minutes and fly back. So, he’s been a really big deal.”

The attention was fitting for a four-star talent ranked in the top 40 in Georgia for the 2024 class (247Sports Composite). Williams announced his decision Monday to commit to Georgia Tech.

He is the first prospect to commit to Tech’s 2024 class and noteworthy as a four-star prospect, particularly with the uncertainty surrounding the leadership of the program. There were no four-star players committed to the 2023 class as of Monday. Moore said the environment around the team that Williams felt on a recent visit won him over.

“He was super impressed with coach (Brent) Key and coach (Chris) Weinke,” Moore said. “His comment when he got back home was he felt like he was a part of the team. They did a great job of making him feel like this would be his home.”

Williams, 6-foot-1½ and 188 pounds, also has scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State and Georgia Southern. There could well be more.

“He can run, and he can throw it a mile,” Moore said. “He’s got good touch, he’s very athletic.”

First Presbyterian is a member of the Georgia Independent Athletic Association, a new division of the Georgia Independent School Association. The school previously was part of GHSA but left for GIAA before the start of this academic year. Because of recruiting camps and the availability of game video, Moore said the notion that not being a part of GHSA diminishes recruiting visibility is overblown. The same goes for the level of play.

“It’s been as competitive as it could possibly be,” Moore said.

The timing of the commitment, going into the final week of Key’s interim coaching stint as the Yellow Jackets prepare for No. 1 Georgia, was conspicuous. But Moore said the decision was made independent of those circumstances.

Williams has enjoyed the recruiting attention, Moore said, “but I do think he has said all along that ‘As soon as I felt like my heart felt really good about somewhere, that I just wanted to say where I am going to play,’ so maybe he can just enjoy his senior year.”

Regardless, Key has been a central part of Williams’ recruitment.

“He is a big fan of Brent Key,” Moore said. “I hope this all works out.”

Moore didn’t think, though, that his commitment would change if Key were not made the full-time coach. Tech’s academic reputation is a draw, as is the team culture.

“I really don’t think so right now,” Moore said. “He was most impressed with the chance he got to spend some time with some of the players that are there. He said, ‘They all just made me feel really at home, like I was already part of the team.’ And I think that was most impressive to him. All these guys make all these hard decisions and they want to play for a certain coach, but you and I both know none of that is set in stone nowadays.”

Williams’ commitment is the fifth for Tech since coach Geoff Collins was fired and Key was made the interim.

Beyond his ability, “he is just a really, really good kid,” Moore said. “I tell you, he is the most pleasant person in the world to talk to. They will really, really enjoy Jakhari.”