ATLANTA- Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams had one goal in high school: to get noticed. Like most recruits, he longed to head to a major program for his college career. He wanted to be on the national map. Specifically, he wanted to be on Nick Saban’s map.
“For me, especially in games, my thought process was, ‘I am a kid playing in suburban Sacramento in California, how am I going to get Nick Saban to watch my film?’” Williams said. “He’s not gonna watch the film of just anybody.”
Boasting a 6-5, 296-pound frame, it’s hard to think about anyone missing Williams in a high school football game.
Even with his great size, Williams felt he had to do more to get noticed. Sadly for them, his high school opponents became his source of motivation. He used them to show just how valuable he could be to a college team.
“I’m not gonna go back to the South if I don’t get noticed,” said Williams of his high school career. “So in games, my thought process was the guy in front of me is trying to keep me from achieving my goals, so I’m gonna take him and I’m gonna put him through that end zone.”
Williams played one year for Marist High School before heading to Folsom, Calif. (just east of Sacramento) to finish his prep career. After earning a five-star rating, Williams achieved his goal. Nick Saban his play- many coaches in America did- and he headed to Tuscaloosa as an early enrollee.
Throughout his freshman season, Williams has made an immediate impact on Alabama’s offensive line. He’s started all 13 games for the Crimson Tide. He earned all-freshman honors from the SEC, and All-SEC honors from the Associated Press. Now, he will get the chance to play in his first postseason game as No. 1 Alabama takes on No. 4 Washington.
Williams attributes a lot of his success to the players that he faces every day in practice. Blocking guys like Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson prepares him for any team.
“You get used to playing those types of guys,” he said. “So, you get into the game and it’s like these guys are good, I really have to be on my game to compete with them, but I’m not completely blown away with how fast they’re getting off of the ball or something like that.”
Many players knew right away that Williams would be important to the offensive line. Tight end Miller Forristall, Williams’ roommate, believes Williams stands out even among so many great players for Alabama.
“He’s different,” Forristall said. “He dedicates a lot of time and energy to the sport and the game and that’s why he’s so good.”
Many Alabama players dedicate a lot of time to working on their game, but Forristall thinks Williams goes above and beyond. He said he knew from day one that Williams would be an impact player.
Part of this is due to Williams’ obsession with football. When a game is on television, it becomes a second film study. He puts himself in the situations he watches. He is unable to relax.
“I figured if I’m going to sit and watch college football I just don’t want to glaze over and kick my feet up and watch it,” he said. “I might as well practice. If I want to play on that field I might as well practice in my head.”
Williams is constantly working. He spends his free time fixing holes in his game and improving in any way he can. As his career goes on, Williams does not expect to slow down anytime soon.
“I think at some point it would be nice to relax, but I can’t really turn that switch off,” Williams said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports