It's the hope of coaches and fans that young Jamaal Williams from Fontana, California can be the gamebreaker of BYU's 2012 football recruiting class.
Williams is a 6-2 running back from Summit High School in Fontana, and although I had read stories on Williams before, it slipped my attention that he is just 16 years old. He will be 17 by the time he plays at BYU. He was recruited by Utah, Boise State, and San Diego State.
Williams grabbed my attention during the recruitment process because of a few quotes (originally found here) after his official trip to Boise State, who was recruiting Williams primarily as a linebacker:
"It didn't really reach the same expectations as BYU," Williams said. "One feels like a little camp and the other feels like a big-time program. The people were really kind at BYU. They would say hi to you even though they don't know you really.
"The only thing that is different is there are things I can't really explain but can just feel, so most of what I think comes from the feeling I get," Williams said. "Boise State was a little more the uniforms and gloves and accessories they have, but I just really have feelings for the BYU aspect and how they look at things. Boise State doesn't really match up with some of the simple things that matter.
"I just loved BYU and the standards and expectations. I especially love the honor code. I've been asking other coaches from different schools about their honor code. Most of them just tell me they don't have it. Most don't really care about an honor code."
Pretty awesome stuff coming from a 16-year old. As for his on the field exploits, here's a highlight package (my favorite is at 0:35)
I couldn't find senior highlights, so these are of Williams as a 15-year old. To me, he has a built-in combo of speed and power that could develop very well as Williams matures. (Also spotted in the above video: Jamaal's team running the delayed shotgun forward-handoff, like the play you could run with the Raiders as Bo Jackson in Super Tecmo Bowl.)
I'm hoping he can live up to another J-Will from BYU -- Jamal Willis, currently an academic advisor at BYU ... oh, and BYU's former all-time leading rusher.