Colorado lands first five-star recruit of Tad Boyle’s tenure

Five-star senior Cody Williams signed for Colorado Wednesday, giving the Buffaloes their first five-star men’s basketball perspective in at least 15 years.

Williams chose Tad Boyle’s program over LSU, although Arizona, UCLA, and USC, among others, also recruited him.

“The program and the players are very connected and they’ve built a great culture,” Williams told ESPN. “I see myself as a part of that. I love the staff and Coach Boyle. When Coach Boyle tells you something, you know it’s the truth, whether it’s on or off the pitch. It’s meant to help you. He’s a very genuine person .”

Williams is the younger brother of Jalen Williams, the Santa Clara star who came out of nowhere to be selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder in last year’s NBA draft lottery.

“My brother was a tremendous help in the process,” he said. “He told me what to look for in a program. A place where I would pass, play and learn. I see myself in Colorado to achieve my goals. Playing in the NCAA tournament, being one of the best rookies in the country and one day in the NBA. I intend to take everything one step at a time.”

Williams, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Perry High School (Arizona), is No. 14 on the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2023 — making him the No. 3 small forward in the country. He averaged 15.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 24 games with Vegas Elite on the Nike EYBL Circuit last spring and summer.

Williams, like his brother, has incredible potential and his ceiling is as high as anyone else in the 2023 class. He was one of the biggest climbers of the spring and summer, improving by more than 35 following his outstanding performances at grassroots level places.

He has gradually evolved from a prospect to a player with potential for more. Williams’ versatility on both sides is impressive with a terrific position size. Offensively, he beats defenders with his 3-point shot, middle game, and drive game. His goalscoring comes from his soft touch and fluid movements, and his size allows him to score over smaller defenders. He can create his own shot but is also capable of finding teammates.

On defense, he could shine in the future thanks to his pace and span, and he’s making that his priority.

“I love defense,” Williams said. “I focus on my defense because most people don’t pay enough attention to it. My brother is getting game time now because he’s committed to guarding, switching and rebounding.”

Williams is Colorado’s first five-star recruit since the ESPN recruiting database began in 2007 and the Buffaloes’ first ESPN 100 engagement since the class of 2021. He joins four-star guard Courtney Anderson, who sent Colorado earlier in the fall has selected.

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