Derek Williams joins the Texas Longhorns football team

Arch Manning’s ripple effect in Texas is alive and well.

Derek Williams, ranked No. 76 on the 2023 ESPN 300, signed to the Longhorns on Monday night, a move that came after his official visit to Austin over the weekend.

Williams, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety from Westgate High School in New Iberia, Louisiana, chose Texas over Alabama, Miami, Texas A&M, LSU, Clemson and Oklahoma.

“I feel like a great player and I think the defense will suit me,” Williams told ESPN. “They’re going to use me in a nickel safe zone. Play corner too. Blitz from the edge, blitz from the safe zone.”

After Manning signed on with the Longhorns on Thursday, other rookies quickly took notice. Seven players have joined him in Texas’ Class of 2023 since Saturday, including ESPN 300 wide receiver Jonah Wilson (No. 278) and Williams.

“That shocked me a bit,” Williams said. “I knew [Manning] has been [likely] go, but I was just making sure. This had an impact on my decision to go [to Texas].”

Williams said Texas recruited him heavily early on, even when Tom Herman was still coaching there. Williams said what Steve Sarkisian is building in Austin excites him for what’s to come there.

“[Sarkisian] did a really good job, recruiting really hard on the guys,” he said. [Texas] recruited me for two years now. It made me think differently from them.”

Sarkisian said earlier Monday that he was happy with the recent wave of recruits in Austin and thinks more could be on the way.

“It was a great run,” Sarkisian told ESPN’s Pete Thamel. “Hopefully it’s not over. I don’t think it’s over. We may have a few more to do here this week. Hopefully we can continue to grab some of the momentum that has been created.”

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