'22 GA RB Justin Williams (Tennessee signee)

Aug 6, 2012
I’m all for these “kids” having spending cash and totally GET their monetary value to universities and TV revenue … but something occurred to me the other day and this is a great example. The kid has JUST got into the program and he’s already advertising. No problem … BUT … at what point does NIL become a bigger BOOM focus for these kids than their FOOTBALL ? Not to mention, uh, classes.
If they don't produce on the field they won't get as many lucrative NIL deals unless you're a caliber of a player like Bryce Young and they might not get drafted and make the big $$. So it's wise that they should give a $h!t about being good at their craft.

As for classes...does the NIL even affect them that much? Players were not going to classes before and if they fail then they usually go off and be obscure at some CC with even less NIL. So it's wise to keep going to class or getting passed.
Likes: Devo182


Sit down and tell me all about it...way over there
Jan 6, 2013
That’s simply not how this works. He’s either a future Heisman winner and the best of all time or a complete bust and waste of scholarship by the spring game. Now you have to pick a side before then. No Pressure…
Or you’re overdoing it with the extreme sarcasm…lots of good options. 😏
May 12, 2020
Days after he concluded his recruitment by picking Tennessee over Auburn, a decision he announced the morning of the first day of the Early Signing Period in December, and signing with the Vols, Justin Williams was in Knoxville getting acclimated to his new team. The four-star running back from Dallas, Ga., jumped into Tennessee's backfield and was thrown into the fire in his first college practices for nearly a week. Williams, who will return to Tennessee on Saturday to formally start his career as an early enrollee admitted to GoVols247 this week that those days he was on campus “felt like a month,” but it allowed him to preview the role he wants to play for the Vols as a freshman.

The 6-foot, 205-pound Williams, ranked the No. 279 overall player and No. 24 running back in the 247Sports Composite for the 2022 class, was a long-time West Virginia commitment before his recruitment picked up amid a productive senior season (2,116 all-purpose yards, 1,896 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns) at East Paulding High School. Tennessee offered him in late October and landed him after he visited for two home games and November, sealing the deal with a late official visit. Williams then joined the Vols for six days of bowl practices ahead of the Music City Bowl last month.

During his time in Knoxville, Williams was able to continue building a bond with Tennessee's other running backs, work with running backs coach Jerry Mack and see for himself how he could help the Vols next season.

“Physicality. I’m a good leader on and off the field. I’m a high-energy guy,” Williams told GoVols247 earlier this week. “I just feel like all around, I can make other players better, because I’m going to push the person next to me, in front of me, beside me — it doesn’t matter — first-string, third-string, fourth-string, fifth-string. If one man goes down, the other man has to be ready, so I’m going to make everybody work and that’s just the kind of guy I am.

“I feel like I’m the type of guy that’s going to make everybody better because I’m going to make sure everybody works, including myself.”

The Vols are reconvening on campus this weekend ahead of the start of spring-semester classes and offseason workouts next week, and Williams is looking forward to getting settled in at his new home after what he said has been a “chaotic” few weeks of packing and getting everything in order.

He'll be roommates with fellow early enrollees and Georgia natives in wide receiver Kaleb Webb and offensive lineman Maurice Clipper Jr. plus Florida offensive line transfer Gerald Mincey. Since returning home, Williams has been able to work out every day since he's not had school.

When he gets to Tennessee, he's looking to continue working with the running backs he's grown close to over his recruitment and his time with the Vols during bowl prep, and he likes the dynamic of the room with Jabari Small, Len'Neth Whitehead and Jaylen Wright.

“Every other running back was cool,” Williams said. “Me, Len’Neth, Jabari and J-Wright, in that room there’s no selfishness. Everybody looks out for each other. It’s a good vibe. We laugh and have a good time, so I can’t say anything bad about any running back. I’d probably have to say the one that looked out for the most, though, honestly was probably Len’Neth. I met him back on my unofficial and on my official, so me and him pretty much were cool after that. We pretty much just hit it off.

“That’s pretty much it, though, but Jabari’s cool. Me and him crack jokes a lot. He’s a good leader. He’s not too talkative but he leads … he sets the example and he leads off his actions. He’s not really much of a talker, but he does a good job, though.”

Though he was fresh off of completing his senior season and had just signed, Tennessee didn't treat Williams like a newcomer when he was at bowl practices, giving him a chance to show what he could do in some live team periods, and Mack and senior offensive analyst Matt Merritt (who since has been hired as the running backs coach at Georgia Southern) would work with Williams after practices trying to sharpen the mental side of his game.

“They didn’t treat me any different from any other player,” Williams said. “They basically threw me into the fire a little bit, which that was good. I got to run team stuff. I pretty much did anything that any other player would do. I had sometimes where Coach Mack would go over some of the little things with me just because I was good, I was still learning some stuff, but other than that I pretty much did everything that they did.”

He added: “Me, Coach Mack and Coach Merritt, pretty much every day after practice I was in the meeting room going over film, breaking down practice and just going over plays. They basically had me on the board explaining each play. They're trying to get me ready as early as possible, so I thought that was pretty cool. They took time out of their day to sit down and work with me, so I truly appreciated that.”

Williams, an excellent student in high school who plans on going into pre-med at Tennessee with designs on becoming an anesthesiologist after his football career ends, said one of his biggest adjustments will be adapting to playing in an offense that goes at such a fast pace like the Vols do, but perhaps his most valuable lesson from those practices and the stretch where he was essentially a college football player for the first time was more about the approach and consistency needed at this level.

“You’ve got to work for everything,” Williams said. “Your spot, they’re looking for people to take your spot every single day of the week, so you can’t come in and just play around and do what you want to do. You’ve got to come in and give it your all every single day of the week. Got to be ready to go and just got come to work every single day of the week.”

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