Chase Williams Commits to JSU
From the SAND MOUNTAIN REPORTER
Williams chooses Jax State
By Shannon J. Allen
Published December 10, 2009
Boaz senior Chase Williams received scholarship offers from SMU, Tennessee-Martin and Chattanooga.
UAB recruited Williams heavily and several other schools were interested in the star linebacker, but when the time arrived for him to make a decision about his future, he followed his heart and committed to Jacksonville State.
“I talked to Coach (Greg) Stewart, he’s their defensive coordinator, and then (head) Coach (Jack) Crowe came down here and talked to me and Drew (Phillips) personally one day, and that’s when he offered me,” Williams said.
“The week before I was at the Tennessee-Martin game at JSU and he (Crowe) pulled me onto the field when they were warming up and offered me, but then he came down here and offered me again to make sure everything was clear.
“There were a lot of other schools looking at me, but JSU is a lot closer, and that was a big thing. When JSU offered, my parents (Tim and Amy Williams) were like, ‘You need to go ahead and just sign with JSU.’”
Williams can’t sign his scholarship until national signing day in February.
The seeds of Williams’ commitment to Jacksonville were planted during a visit to Paul Snow Stadium a few seasons ago.
“Randy Jones is a big thing down there with JSU’s football team,” Williams recalled.
“And we went up there and I was sitting in the president’s box. I was young, it was probably ninth grade, and I was looking at the field and I was like, ‘Man, I wish I could do this when I get older.’
“I was just dreaming then I wish I could play on the college level, and it’s just kind of like a dream come true that I’ll be playing at JSU.”
Jones is a local Nationwide insurance executive. Amy Williams works for Jones’ agency in Albertville.
Williams said he will fit into the Gamecocks’ defensive scheme “really easy,” because they play a “30” scheme similar to Boaz.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Williams was recruited as an outside linebacker, but he might get a look at strong safety.
“They want me to be at 205 or 210 when I get to Jacksonville. Once I get to JSU, I’ll get on their program, and there’s no telling how big I’ll get then,” he said.
Williams is thankful he didn’t follow through with his decision to give up football before his sophomore season.
“I was going to quit my sophomore year,” he said. “I wasn’t going to play. I had already handed in my stuff, but I hadn’t told Coach (Drew) Noles because I was scared to. I did not want to tell him.
“My mom told me, ‘No, you’re going to tell Coach Noles,’ because she knew I was scared to tell him.
“We sat down for two hours and my mom and Coach Noles talked me into playing my sophomore year, and I got a bunch of playing time and ended up like fourth in tackles. So that got me enough experience to where when I came back my junior year, I was able to start.”
Williams overcame a knee injury during his junior season to win the first of his two defensive most valuable player awards on the All-Marshall County team. He was also honorable mention all-state in 2008.
“Chase is a great player on the field and really is probably a better person and leader in our school,” Noles said.
“We’ll miss him. You can’t replace a guy like him on the field. Pretty much if an offensive guy didn’t get out of bounds, Chase was going to make the tackle.
“He had a tremendous knack for finding the football, he read his keys so quickly and he was so easy to coach.
“A lot of times when you get a great player they’re not real interested in getting better, and he was always improving his game.
“We’ve had some really good linebackers here, but as far as making tackles and making plays, he’s probably the best one we’ve had.”