June 2, 2020

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Diamond in the Rough: Christian Williams

Christian Williams is a class of 2021 defensive backs and wide receiver from Parkview Baptist High School in Baton Rouge, LA. Williams stands at 5’10 176 lbs with a bench press of 205, a squat of 375, and a 40 yard dash time of 4.5 seconds. Williams is a three year varsity starter for Parkview and a two year varsity starter at dual positions. Over his playing career, Christian’s success and accomplishments on the field earned him multiple accolades, including: 2017-2018 TCA Defensive MVP Award, two-time All-Saban Team Award, FBU Top Performer, and The Show! By Nextgen All-American Selection. When reviewing William’s tape, it is evident to why the upcoming senior is held in such high regard. At the defensive back position, whether playing corner or safety, Christian is great at both man and zone coverages. Receivers rarely find success against this ball hawking defensive back. In the run game, Williams shows an almost linebacker-like mentality; immediately flocking to ball carriers with full force. Williams is one of the most versatile athletes in the state, and with another year under his belt, Christian has the time to grow into an even more explosive player, making him a prime target for colleges nationwide. 

Talk to me a bit about what got you into the game of football and around what age you began to take an interest in the sport.

I was around 7 years old when I began to play and take interest in football. It was mainly due to watching my godfather Jonathan Zenon (former LSU and NFL corner) play, along with watching Jessie Daniels. (Daniels is Christian’s uncle, who played DB for the 2003 National Champion LSU Team. Christian wears number 31 in his uncle’s honor)

What was it like watching your godfather and uncle play for a school with the caliber of LSU? What did it mean to you as a young player?

Well, it instilled that physicality and teamwork mentality on me at a very young age. They are like big brothers to me, and helped me work well with coaches and the older players on my terms due to the maturity and insight he brought to the table.

What are some things about football that immediately felt natural to you once you began playing?

It was really just quickly understanding the right and wrong ways to do things. Whether that was how I was running my routes as a receiver, or properly forming tackles as a defender, I adapted fast to those aspects of the game. I believe that’s why I’m able to be a versatile athlete today and can easily play both sides of the ball as a starter.

Still speaking on your early playing days, is there anything that the sport immediately instilled in you from a young age?

Definitely. Football is a sport that teaches responsibility and character skills because of how mentally and physically tough it is. You have to learn those lessons quickly if you want to succeed. I believe it also really helped in my communication skills as well and how I interact with people due to the importance of communication in football.

At this stage in your playing career, what are some things that you are focused on moving forward?

Leadership skills for sure. By doing things like staying out of trouble and maintaining good grades in the classroom, it sets an example for the younger guys which helps the team out a lot. Football is not a sport that lasts forever, so learning these lessons at a young age is extremely important to me. 

Can you talk to me a bit about some personal and team goals that you and your teammates have set for the upcoming 2020 season?

Personally, I just want to do whatever it takes to help my team make the playoffs and reach our highest potential. As far as the team, we’re really focused on getting faster and stronger. We want to get better as a unit each and every practice, which we know will translate into the season. 

What sets you apart from other players across the state at your position or positions? What have you done to achieve this?

My work ethic for sure. I spend a lot of time working out after school and also putting in extra work after practice. Doing things like working on hand-eye coordination by going out and catching tennis balls are some little things I like to incorporate to make me a better athlete. It’s working on these fundamentals that I think really separate you and show serious improvement to your athletic ability. 

Are there any specific rituals or routines you feel you must do before a big game?

I always want to make sure I watch some film before a game in order to key in on certain plays or players to improve my matchups. Music is also important to me before a game. I enjoy listening to rap to get me energized and ready, but also enjoy listening to some slower paced music to really help prepare my mind and put it at ease. 

Once on the field, what motivates you, play in and play out? It can be a person, a goal, or anything really. 

What motivates me most is trying to make it as far in this sport as I can for my mother. I want to show her the same love and support she has given me my entire life and playing career. 

Can you describe to me your playstyle as a defensive back?

I’m really good in zone coverage and I love man-to-man. My coach always instructs me to lock up the best receiver on the field, and I think that speaks to my versatility as a DB. 

What about describing yourself as a player in general, being that you are multi-position?

I am a true athlete and my range of versatility really helps my playstyle. I have the mindset that there is no position I wouldn’t be able to play. 

Finally, do you have any words of advice for kids who are just entering the sport for the first time and may have some hesitation or uncertainty about playing football?

Always keep your head up no matter what. Football is a game of adversity but that adversity will only grow you into a better person down the road. If you are undersized, block it out. Football is a game of heart and that heart is what will determine your success. I would also like to say how important the friendships and bonds you make playing football are. It’s a game where you form life-long brotherhoods and that’s priceless.