Javonte Williams: A story of small town football success
WALLACE, NC (WWAY)–Javonte Williams played football for four years at Wallace-Rose Hill High School earning himself at scholarship at North Carolina. Now, three years later his dream is becoming a reality on the gridiron.
Nothing has ever come easy for the former Bulldog. The 5’10 running back had no power five offers headed into his senior year, but after rushing for over 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2017 the Tar Heels came calling. He says even with a scholarship under his belt he went into Chapel Hill with something to prove.
“Coming from a small town you just got to make the most out of what you got,” Williams says. “So, I feel like that’s what helped me be so successful at Carolina. I’m not used to having too much, but I know how to make the most of what I got. So, I just kept that mentality coming into UNC. I just kept my head down and worked and did everything I was supposed to do. “
Williams did even more than that during his time in the UNC colors. His freshman season in Chapel Hill he rushed for just 224 yards. Two years later, he’s one of the best running backs in nation wracking up over 1,100 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. He credits the culture established at Carolina and those around him for making him the player he is today.
“The other running backs in the room, I’d say there really the reason for my success on the field,” says Williams. “Just having somebody like Mike to compete against whose also a very good player. We challenged each other in the weight room, on the field, and even in the meeting room. Just having somebody to push me everyday, I feel like that’s really where my success came from.”
His success this past season left him with a tough decision as the regular season came to an end. Would he return to the field with his team in the Orange Bowl or take the next step towards achieving a goal he’s had since he was a child? A choice that Williams says wasn’t easy, but it’s one the former Bulldog can be proud of. He chose to chase his dreams of one day playing in the NFL.
“Just talking to my family it’s all a timing thing and just leaving out of it healthy,” Williams said. “I think that was like the most important part, not knowing the risk of getting hurt in the bowl game. Also I play the running back position, we get hit pretty much every play. So yeah just trying to get out of it healthy and put myself in the best situation to succeed at the next level.”
Nothing is guaranteed at the next level, but Williams finds himself one step closer to playing on Sunday. He says that reality hasn’t really set in yet, but one day he’ll look back on all he’s accomplished coming from a small town in Duplin County. He is proving it doesn’t matter where you come from. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
“I feel like one day when I’m able to sit down and just think about like how blessed I am, it’ll all just hit me,” said William. “I’ll see the bigger picture of my entire journey.”
We want to wish Williams the best of luck in his football career. The 2021 NFL Draft is set to kickoff on April 29th.