Kyren Williams was nervous.
The St. John Vianney High School running back and safety already knew where he wanted to continue his football career, but as the minutes ticked away before his press conference in the media center on Thursday the Class of 2019 standout saw the crowded room and television cameras and was ready to get it over with.
After a brief introduction from Griffins football coach Paul Day, Williams delivered a short speech thanking his family, friends, coaches and everyone who had helped him get to that point.
Then he stood up, took off his jacket and revealed a Notre Dame football t-shirt.
Williams’ family members, seated around him at the table, all stood up to reveal identical Notre Dame football Under Armour t-shirts.
“Ever since my official visit last week I felt a connection with the school and myself and my family,” Williams told STLhighschoolsports.com. “I felt comfortable up there. I texted my mom on the second day of my official, 'Notre Dame is my new home.'”
Williams picked the Fighting Irish over finalists Missouri and Michigan after receiving approximately 20 scholarship offers from schools across the country. He officially visited Missouri and then Notre Dame, but after making his silent commitment on his official to Notre Dame he canceled his scheduled official visit to Michigan.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder was recruited as a running back but also has the versatility and skills to play wide receiver or safety. He’s rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports.
247Sports rates Williams as the ninth-best prospect in Missouri for the Class of 2019. Rivals rates Williams as the 11th-best prospect in Missouri for the Class of 2019.
Williams has been a standout player for the Griffins since he arrived on campus as a freshman and has already scored 72 touchdowns in his first three seasons.
As a junior, Williams rushed for 922 yards and 22 touchdowns on 119 carries, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. He caught 51 passes for 774 yards and 12 touchdowns. He threw a touchdown pass and recorded one return touchdown. His 35 touchdowns scored tied the school single-season record set by Markel Smith in 2013.
Williams scored a team-high 28 touchdowns as a sophomore, in 2016, when the Griffins won the Missouri Class 5 championship. He rushed for 748 yards and 21 touchdowns on 125 carries, averaging 6 yards per carry. He caught 48 passes for 591 yards and seven touchdowns.
As a freshman, in 2015, Williams caught 50 passes for 606 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 242 yards and five touchdowns on 45 carries.