Ladue vs. Parkway North football

Parkway North's Jalani Williams (9) returns a kickoff for a touchdown during a game against Ladue on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at Kirkwood High School. Paul Kopsky, STLhighschoolsports.com

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COLUMBIA, MO. • Jalani Williams' promising start with the Missouri football team has its first setback. The freshman safety from Parkway North injured his foot in practice last week and underwent surgery that will shut him down for the rest of the spring, MU confirmed Tuesday.

Williams, who graduated from high school early and enrolled at MU in January, is expected to recover in time for summer workouts in June. Williams has been playing MU's boundary safety position in practice, backing up junior and returning starter Tyree Gillespie. 

The four-star recruit was MU's highest-ranked high school prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. The All-Metro and first-team All-State safety and 102 tackles and three interceptions last fall at Parkway North.

Shoot, you guys have seen our track record. Freshmen are going to get a shot, especially like Jalani,” Mizzou defensive coordinator Ryan Walters said in December when Williams signed his national letter of intent. "He’ll be right in the fire in terms of workouts and spring ball and getting reps. There’s a reason why he had just about every offer out there. He’s a special kid, talented kid with a lot of potential.

“He’s got a great head on his shoulders. He’s football guy. He wants to be coach when he’s done playing. Really, really excited about the prospect of getting him here.”

Slot receivers Johnathon Johnson (knee tendinitis) and Dominic Gicinto (hamstring) both were limited in drills Tuesday but aren't expected to miss extensive time.

Dave Matter

@dave_matter on Twitter

dmatter@post-dispatch.com

This article originally ran on stltoday.com.

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