Tim Williams: The path from Baton Rouge to Tuscaloosa

Alabama's Tim Williams (56) returns an interception during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Fayetteville, Ark. Alabama won 49-30. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)
Alabama's Tim Williams (56) returns an interception during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Fayetteville, Ark. Alabama won 49-30. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WIAT) — Tim Williams is a Baton Rouge native whose journey to Alabama was anything but normal.

Deep in the heart of the bayou, in the shadows of Tiger Stadium, stands University High School, the former home of the Crimson Tide linebacker.

Though nowadays it seems like Williams was born to play football, he started off disliking the sport, and opted into basketball instead. He refused to give football a chance until after his 7th grade year.

“We always saw the size,” said Carlos Helm, Williams’s cousin. “Just saw the speed and agility in him.”

Even the big moment when he first got recognized by college coaches happened by accident.

“His freshman year I accidentally signed him up for the wrong camp at Alabama,” said Carolyn Williams, Tim’s mother. “I signed him up for the upper classmen camp. He was a freshman.”

Even against those older players, Tim Williams stood head and shoulders above the competition.

“Tim was going up against juniors and seniors, and he got offered that same day to go back to Saban’s chambers,” said Nick Williams, Tim’s brother. “Saban came not once, but twice to my mom’s house.”

That camp opened the flood gates everybody wanted. Williams went on to become an Under Armour All-American, but the home town team had to be the favorite.

But even though Tim Williams was set on attending LSU, the school near which he had honed his craft did not want him back.

“There were a lot of things that were being said that weren’t true,” a relative said. “That he was a problem getting in trouble in school, he wasn’t academically eligible to go to the next level, which was not true either. They did not know his mother.”

Nick Saban saw his shot, and he called Tim to offer him a scholarship.

“He didn’t even tell me he was going to commit,” Carolyn said. “He surprised me, and I bust out crying because I was happy.”

And for believing in Williams, the Tide got a beast on the field in return. Williams is highly disruptive in the game, constantly in the backfield and a surefire first-round draft pick.

“Tim hasn’t even grasped it yet because he is so down to earth,” said Tim Johnson, Williams’s dad. “He wouldn’t even think who he is, he doesn’t treat himself any different.”

The family is definitely proud of Williams, and will cheer for him no matter what team he plays for in the long run.

“You watch him from being your little brother to being the grown man he is now,” Nick said. “You shared the same bed as this kid, now he’s just the man across the country. It will be more surprising for my mom.”

Tim’s mom, like most other moms, is just glad that her son found something that he loves.

“I am just happy he is able to do what he always wanted to do,” Carolyn said.

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