NRHS’ Williams opts for VMI

Published 10:36 pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

It would have been easier to spot Christian Williams on the diamond than the gridiron before high school, but when his freshman year arrived, he committed himself to reaching the next level in football. The Nansemond River High School senior recently saw this goal achieved as he accepted the offer to become a recruited walk-on with the Virginia Military Institute.

Nansemond River High School senior football player Christian Williams will be a recruited walk-on at the Virginia Military Institute in the fall.

Nansemond River High School senior football player Christian Williams will be a recruited walk-on at the Virginia Military Institute in the fall.

“It’s a pretty great feeling,” Williams said. “I’m really excited about it. It all kind of came to me as a shock that it happened.”

“The recruiting process was kind of stressful, because there were long periods of time where you weren’t in connection with one of the coaches or anything,” he said. During these times, he said, he was left wondering, “OK, are they still interested in me?”

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“I was really interested in going to one of the senior military schools, trying to get into any of them,” he said.

Williams was accepted at all seven schools to which he applied, including three senior military colleges, but elaborated on what ultimately made VMI the most appealing option to him.

“I wanted to commission in the military, so I thought that that kind of environment would be the best place to put myself through, to challenge myself, and also get a good education at the same time,” he said.

He learned about the school after visiting it a few times.

“I got a look around the campus,” he said. “I’ve watched videos and gotten to speak to some of the teachers and other faculty members there, and I just got a pretty good feel from it.”

Eventually, it became his No. 1 school.

VMI’s interest in him as a football player is what ultimately guaranteed he would go to the school. He was offered a recruited walk-on status and was told that even if he did not get in through the application process, they would give him an appointment because of the status.

“Basically, they told me that I was in no matter what,” Williams said. “I don’t have to tryout, and they redshirted me, so I can either choose to do four or five years there, depending on if I want to play four years of football, because the first year I won’t be able to play,” he said.

“They’re just trying to basically get me ready to play.”

Williams is already getting ready to join the rat line.

“I think I’m starting to get myself pretty prepared for it physically,” he said. “The only thing that is probably going to be a challenge is probably the emotional part of it, just having someone scream at you 24/7.”

He is at least used to that on the football field, where he made his home athletically starting in ninth grade.

“I actually was a baseball player for the longest time, and when I started playing football, I got into it a lot more; I had more fun playing it,” Williams said. “And probably around my freshman year, my goal was to make as much effort as I can to hopefully get into any college to play.”

He was a three-year varsity letterman at Nansemond River and this past season was a team captain and earned second team all-conference honors.

He primarily played at tight end and defensive end and has been told he may continue to do both at VMI.

“I’d have to give really special thanks to all the football coaches here at Nansemond,” he said. “They’ve been helping me become the player I am. They’ve been helping me make my film, improve all of my techniques and they opened the doors for me to all the college recruiters.”

He specifically listed coaches Bryant Bowden, Brian Maus, Tracey Parker and VMI running backs coach Greg Shockley, who recruited him.

Not forgetting where he came from, Williams added, “My parents were the ones who’ve been really pushing me on and off the field since my freshman year. They are the ones that have been helping me ever since I’ve been born, doing everything in my life.”