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Stanford DT commit Mike Williams visiting Texas

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Despite his summer pledge, the big defensive tackle is keeping an open mind about the Longhorns.

Mike Williams
Mike Williams
Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

An important visit weekend for the Texas Longhorns is starting on Friday, as the coaching staff will host Fort Worth All Saints defensive tackle Mike Williams, who has been committed to the Stanford Cardinal since July 3:

The 6'2, 305-pounder was high on the Longhorns prior to making his decision and has continued to express interest in Texas, as evidenced by his plans to take an official visit to Austin before National Signing Day.

The official visit is an important element of Williams' recruitment because the trip to Austin isn't just about visiting Texas -- All Saints plays Episcopal School of Dallas on Saturday at noon in Round Rock to determine the Southwest Preparatory Conference championship.

Pulling the Metroplex product away from Stanford is going to be a difficult task, however, as Williams made the decision largely for academic reasons -- as highly-regarded as Texas is as an academic institution, overcoming Stanford's advantage there is not easy. The good news is that there's not as big of a gap between Texas and Stanford as there is between other in-state schools and the Cardinal.

The hope from the Longhorns perspective is probably that Williams decides at the last minute that he wants to remain closer to home, much as former Oregon commit PJ Locke did after picking up his offer just before National Signing Day early this year.

Williams is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 247 player overall, the No. 26 defensive tackle, and the No. 36 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Texas currently holds one pledge at defensive tackle, but probably needs to land three total at the position, where depth is a concern moving forward after the Horns failed to sign a defensive tackle in the 2013 class and could not get 2015 signee Du'Vonta Lampkin to campus.

Houston Westside's Jordan Elliott will be in Austin for the Kansas game this weekend and remains the top target as the disruptive presence Texas needs to find in this class. Since Williams only recorded two sacks combined during his sophomore and junior seasons, he doesn't project as a guy to put up big havoc numbers in college, meaning that he's a potentially complementary piece of the 2016 Texas class if he decides to flip from Stanford.

Regardless of which specific class need Williams would fill, taking advantage of a strong in-state defensive tackle class in 2016 and flipping Williams would represent a significant and important coup for the Texas coaching staff.