The stage is being set for what could be a dramatic finish to Tennessee’s early-signing period recruiting efforts.

Jonathan Williams III, the 6-8 versatile forward from Memphis Southwind, told John Martin, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal’s recruiting expert, that he plans to announce his commitment on Oct. 18.

Williams has narrowed his list of schools Tennessee, Missouri, Georgetown, Texas and Michigan State. Landing Williams, a four-star power forward rated the No. 12 player at his position by ESPN, to go along with a recruiting class that includes five-star guard Robert Hubbs, 6-8 forward A.J. Davis and 6-0 point guard Travon Landry would no doubt propel Tennessee’s recruiting class into the top 25 of most recruiting analysts.

And that doesn’t even include Austin Nichols, a five-star recruit rated the No. 5 power forward by ESPN. Nichols has been heavily recruited by the Vols, who covet his abilities as a face-up four man capable of making open shots he’ll get in the Vols’ five-man motion offense. Nichols was an AAU teammate of Hubbs’. Nichols visits Duke next weekend and will take his final visit – to Tennessee – on Oct. 20.


Williams has taken an official visit to Tennessee (the same weekend as Hubbs, who committed the next day), and has considerable interest in the Vols. But other programs that allow their frontcourt players to be versatile facilitators – notably Georgetown and Michigan State – are on Williams’ list. ESPN has compared Williams to a young Lamar Odom.

“Like Odom, Williams could be considered a point forward that can initiate offense or take the ball off the glass and lead the break,” ESPN says in its scouting report.