The brother of current Tide middle linebacker Freddie Roach and half brother of former Tide receiver Tim Bowens and one-time Tide signee Quentin Bowens, Williams had nevertheless spent the last several months naming Tennessee as his leader. Over and over when asked, he acknowledged his interest in Alabama--but then claimed he was leaning to the Vols.
But last Wednesday the Tide turned.
"I thought about it for a while," Roach told Scott Kennedy of BorderWars.com. "The recruiting process was getting kind of hectic. I committed to Alabama."
A versatile athlete, Roach (6-1 196) has played running back, receiver, safety and quarterback in high school. This season he starred for Brooks High School in Killen, Alabama as an option QB. Roach proved to be a slashing runner, very difficult to sack because of his elusiveness. As a senior he rushed for 973 yards and five touchdowns, while passing for 176 yards and one TD.
The Brooks coaches also utilized their star as a receiver, and Roach caught passes totaling 541 yards and 10 touchdowns. Timed as fast as 4.55 in the 40-yard dash, Roach returned both punts and kickoffs this year for 390 total yards.
Altogether, Roach accumulated 2080 all purpose yards and 16 touchdowns during his final prep season.
And as an added bonus, he racked up 53 tackles, three interceptions, and five pass breakups from his safety slot.
Roach says the Tide coaches are going to let him start at wide receiver, but he acknowledges that his future may well lie on the other side of the ball as a ball-hawking safety.
Competing for and winning championships is important to Roach. After the Tide clinched the title of Best in the West with its 31-0 demolition of the LSU Bengal Tigers, Roach decided for Bama. "I started thinking about (my commitment) harder after the Alabama/LSU game," he related. "Alabama showed that they are on top, and it made my decision easier."
During his four years of high school football, Roach amassed some impressive statistics.
Rushing: 2805 yards and 27 TDs
Passing: 1093 yards and 9 TDs
Receiving: 1444 yards and 20 TDs
Kickoff and Punt Returns: 857 yards and 3 TDs
For his career, Roach accounted for 6,199 total yards and 58 touchdowns.
Considered the best athlete of the four brothers, William still knew he'd have some explaining to do if he went anywhere else but Alabama. "I talked to my brother (Freddie) about it," William recalled laughing. "And he said I made a good decision."
Despite being injured for over half his junior year, Roach made All-County and honorable mention All-State.
The youngest Roach brother bench presses 305 pounds, squats 385 and power cleans 270. He carries a 2.8 GPA in the classroom.
Roach turned down offers from Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina to play for the Tide.
(Front-page photo courtesy of Gridscape.com.)