- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By: GREG HIGGINS
If you watch a North Lamar football game, chances are good that it won’t take very long for you to spot number 43. This number belongs to defensive tackle T. J. Williams and at times he is all over the field. Last week against Canton, Williams had a sack and two fumble recoveries, one of which he picked up and carried 30 yards down the field before being tackled.
The Senior defensive tackle is in his second year of playing on the varsity team. However, he did play one game of varsity during his Sophomore year when he was moved up for the North Lamar playoff game. Williams has lived in Paris since he was born and has attended North Lamar his entire life.
Williams started playing football in the third grade, where he played linebacker and defensive end. It wasn’t until his eighth grade year that T. J. was moved to defensive tackle. “Ever since then, I’ve been playing [defensive tackle] because I’ve been doing good at it,” Williams tells eParisExtra.com.
Williams says he loves the feeling of sacking the quarterback, and who could blame him. The sack he had against Bonham two Fridays ago was at a critical moment of the game. His team was up 28-13 and Bonham had moved into position to score and make it a one possession game when T.J. caught the Bonham quarterback for an 11 yard loss.
“When the ball is snapped, I have to read it,” Williams says when asked about the Bonham sack. “If [the offensive lineman] is going to come outside of me, or if he’s going to sit back and block for a pass, or if he’s going to come straight on.” Williams is getting more excited as he talks about the play. “Well he just came back for a pass so when that happened, I used my technique to get past him to get to the quarterback. I got around him and it was wide open and I wasn’t going to let [the quarterback] get passed me.”
When Williams isn’t playing football he is hanging out with friends. He describes the football team as a family and says they all like to hang out after school and on weekends. This group of players has been hanging out together ever since they started playing together in the seventh grade and it shows. They aren’t afraid to get onto someone for making a mistake, but more importantly they are there to encourage each other and pick each other up.
Coach Felty says that Williams “really came on this year with being a leader on the field and working hard.” As long as number 43 is on the field, opposing offenses have something they need to worry about.
Be sure to catch T. J. Williams and the rest of the Panthers as they take on New Boston this Friday night at R.L. Maddox Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Be sure to follow NL Football live on twitter @eParisEXtra.