Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Williams not short on talent


  by - Staff Writer - Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:02 AM
    |

Williams impressed everybody at Dabo Swinney's camp last June

Jalen Williams Jalen Williams
Linebacker
6-0, 215
Blythewood, SC

View Full Profile
stands just a hair under six feet, and when coaches and spectators look at him, they see a running back or safety. However, if you look closer you will see a linebacker that is poised for a breakout college career.

As the Blythewood (SC) three-star linebacker made his way around the football camp circuit in ACC and SEC country this past summer, he kept hearing the same thing – his height is a liability.

However, it only took Clemson defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile
one look at Williams to realize that he liked what he saw and that he wanted to see more. Venables asked Williams to stay for the duration of the camp,and after three days of grueling workouts, he left with his first Division I offer – a gray shirt offer from Clemson.

During Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
View Full Profile
’s high school football camp last June, Williams was paired with several big-name, five-star prospects and he out-worked each and every one of them.

Was it because he was just over looked being from a small town like Blythewood? Maybe.

However, he will tell you it was because he played with fire and passion after being told “No” so many times. He was finally ready to hear “Yes.”

Williams told TigerNet that after being told his height was a liability for most teams, he played with a chip on his shoulder to prove the naysayers wrong.

“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder,” Williams told TigerNet Sunday night. “I’m not the cookie-cutter, typical linebacker. When most people see me, they don’t think I’m a linebacker. When most people see me, they think I’m a running back or safety. A lot of other schools passed me up. I went to three other camps, and they all said that they liked me and liked the way I play, but the one thing that’s holding them back from giving me the offer was my height. That kind of hurt me a little bit. I didn’t want my height to be a factor.”

After finally hearing yes from Venables and Clemson, Williams said there has never been any doubt in his mind that he will end up a Tiger.

“When I went to Clemson, Coach Venables told me that I will have my chance and at the end of the day that he will have his best 11 on the field,” Williams said. “That is what ultimately helped me with my decision for Clemson. I am 100-percent solid. There is no room or mindset to decommit or anything like that.”

When Williams committed in October, he knew that he was committing to a gray shirt, with the possibility of a scholarship opening up, but he said that he is okay with either outcome.

“I don’t know right now. If I don’t get a scholarship and have to gray shirt, that’s what I committed to do,” Williams said. “That’s one thing that my grandfather told me – when you commit, commit to a gray shirt. Don’t commit thinking that you are going to get a scholarship and be able to come straight it in, so that I’m not frustrated or disappointed.

“If it doesn’t work out and I have to gray shirt, I will be happy because I committed to it. Coach Brad Scott- he broke it down for me when I had a meeting with him today and it’s not a bad thing. I get to mature so that when I come in, I’ll be a little more mature than all of the freshmen coming in. I also get two college credits while I’m taking classes – biology and English.”

Venables will give Williams the opportunity to play each of the three linebacker spots; however, he must come to Clemson prepared to earn a starting role.

“We talked earlier today. He was telling me that I have to be a student of the game,” Williams said. “If you put in the work in the meeting room, then it will show on the field. He just said that when I get here, I have to know the playbook inside and out, be confident, and not be afraid to ask questions. He told me that we don’t know what’s going to happen with the gray shirt or the scholarship. We are still waiting on the numbers.”

While in town for his official visit this past weekend, Williams not only spent time learning what was expected from the coaching staff, but he also took the time to get to know current and future players.

“I had fun just hanging out with the players – current players, future players and players that are thinking about coming to Clemson,” Williams said. “I had a great time with them. I had Dane Rogers and Dorian O’Daniel as my player hosts, but I wasn’t ever really just with them. I was always with the defensive linemen. I was with Corey Crawford pretty much the whole trip. I was with Shaq Lawson, Ebo [Ebenezer Ogundeko], and I was with Tavaris [Barnes], Martin Aiken. I also spent a lot of time with Demarre Kitt Demarre Kitt
Wide Receiver
6-1, 195
Tyrone, GA

ESPN:
View Full Profile
. We all had a great time.”

Rate this Story:
33 votes
Send Feedback to Nikki Steele: Email | Comment
    |
  •  
    Is an early signing period closer to becoming a reality? - 4 days ago
    Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford told the ACC media earlier this week that the league is in favor of an early signing period, saying he thinks it would be "healthy" for the sport. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has also given his thoughts on what he thinks it would do for the players, coaches and schools. Full Story »
  •  
    Tiger Tidbits: No Fly Zone, Deshaun Watson and more - 2 weeks ago
    What's the latest we've heard this week surrounding the Clemson program? How is Deshaun Watson doing this summer as he rehabs from injury? What is the "No Fly Zone?" Full Story »
  •  
    Venables: The story of this defense will be told on the field - 2 weeks ago
    Brent Venables has heard about the hype and preseason expectations for his defense, but he told the media Tuesday that this unit won't achieve greatness in the media or on the message boards, it will have to earn it on the playing field. Full Story »
  •  
    Lack of respect? Clemson coaches think so - 2 weeks ago
    The national media doesn't give Clemson much of a chance to sustain the recent success the program has achieved, pointing to the loss of players like Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd as too much to overcome. However, Clemson's coaching staff has other ideas. Full Story »
  •  
    News and notes from Swinney media golf outing - 2 weeks ago
    News and notes from Tuesday morning's interview session with Clemson assistant coaches at Dabo Swinney media golf outing. What is the latest on Charone Peake? Can the coaches keep Scott Pagano off the field? What is the latest on Germone Hoppper? Full Story »

Post your comments
Subject (Replies: 29) Author
New Story: Williams not short on talent
TigerNet News®
Jeff Davis was 6'-0......How'd that work out ?
WEOWNUSC
Keith Adams ... 5'11" body ... w/ a 6'3" heart.
apextiger®
Re: Keith Adams ... 5'11" body ... w/ a 6'3" heart.
babaganoush
Yep just look at G. Jarett. He's considered short for a DT
Drobins
Exactly ... these star ratings are heavily weighted toward
apextiger®
Cue video of Clowney - great physical attributes,
ggordon
Anthony Simmons - 6'0", in my opinion the best LB
Smiling Tiger®
Re: Anthony Simmons = speed
apextiger®
Kieth Adams 2.0
ColaTownTiger
Re: Keith Adams story- not mine
74TIGER
How about grandpa emphasising down into the specifics of
CUAllTheWay
As a Redskins fan, he is reminding me of London...
francismariontiger®
Adams might've been 5'8". Reggie
Hi Cotton Tigger
The heart of the matter is, sometimes you are just better
Save the Tiger
Possible Future One - - Two Punch
Xander5000
Re: Possible Future One - - Two Punch
oldschtiger70®
Re: Possible Future One - - Two Punch
oldschtiger70®
Jefff Bostic was considered undersized,
tigertomw
If it's about size, don't forget Bubba Brown. From what I
SOLOS®
Re: If it's about size, don't forget Bubba Brown. From what I
76clemson
"Ouir Brown's better than your Brown." "I am" was great!***
CUTIGR69®
Our***
CUTIGR69®
Re: New Story: Williams not short on talent
icebucket
Love his attitude! GO TIGERS!***
Clemson_Orange
Regarding "height", TWO Hall of Famers
ALLIN4CU®
Back in the day, there was a recruit from Loudon,Tenn. He
Spud
Sam Mills was too short to play, too.***
Clemsnman®
I don't get the grey shirt thing
BentZero
Re: I don't get the grey shirt thing
smillsap1

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest