Introducing the 2005 Class: Jovon Williams

There comes a time in one's life where life altering sacrifices have to be made. Jovon Williams has yet to turn 18, but has already been faced with tough dilemmas affecting his young football career and recruitment. His travels across the nation have made him the proverbial ‘under the radar' member of Arizona State's latest recruiting class. He told DevilsDigest that all he went through was worth it because it landed him in the best possible situation – as a member of the Sun Devils.

"I know I was underrated but that's OK because I'm at a place where I want to be and I got my scholarship," said tight end Jovon Williams who was rated the 107th best West Coast prospect by Scout.com. "I was bummed at first when schools weren't recruiting me a lot. My best friend is Will Harris (who was recruited heavily by ASU and signed with USC). He was getting a lot of attention, but he kept on encouraging me. There was no jealousy between us."

The tight end played at Charter Oak, one of the premier football schools in the Los Angeles area. However, the reason for schools not noticing him was the fact that he only played three years there, with his junior year spent clear across the country – at Bay high school in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

"It was pretty hard leaving California," he recalled. "But there was a tragic incident and I had to go to my mom in Mississippi and help her. I just had to drop everything and go. I was there my junior year, but I knew I had to come back to L.A. if my football career was gonna go anywhere."

In Williams' mind, there was one clear difference between both places. "California is more fast paced, and in Mississippi everything is laid back," he remarked. "In California, if you're lazy you're not gonna amount to anything. In Mississippi you'd do the same thing and everything would be OK." Having said that, he had a strong desire to venture away from home. "One reason I went to Arizona State is because I didn't want to go to school in California," he said. "If I wanted to stay in state I would have gone to Cal. I don't like California. If I knew I could get a scholarship in Mississippi I would stay there. I just came back to L.A. so I can get a scholarship. My high school sends a lot of people to D-I colleges, and you get a lot of exposure playing in California."

The big exposure naturally came for him during his senior year, and ASU first contacted him in person a few weeks before season's end. "First time I met with coach Osborne was late October in my senior year," said Williams. "Him and I had a long conversation. I'm not a person that just opens up to anybody, I'm a real reserved person. For some reason, I was really open with him. I never talked to anyone like that outside of my family."

Most of the Pac-10 along with San Diego State offered him a scholarship. The tight bond between him and Osborne was crucial in his decision to come to ASU. Another strong factor was the close-knit group of the Sun Devil football players who made a strong impression on the tight end during his visit. "I'm all about family, and I need to know someone had my back before I go out somewhere," Williams explained. "They're a lot of young players there and I felt like I can grow up with them."

The family of players is now closer than ever in light of the tragic events surrounding Loren Wade. Williams gave us an insight on how the matter was handled with him and what his opinion was following the events of last weekend. "Coach Osborne called me Sunday," he said. "He wanted me to hear about it from him before I see it on the news…when I think about it, it doesn't change my mind about going to Arizona State. My grandma, who's my legal guardian, is 100% behind anything that I do. She was surprised about the news, but she never had second thoughts of me going there. She knows that I'm a responsible young man, and if things got out of hand that I would know how to handle myself."

"Some people do things that they can't control," Williams continued. "And he (Wade) was under the influence. I feel sorry for the family of the person who got murdered. I lost two teammates so I know what it feels like, and I know how to recover from it."

ASU recently started to employ the two tight end scheme, a proposition that was naturally attractive to Williams who plays that position. "I like that Arizona State runs the two tight end more than anybody else," he said. "It's gonna be a challenge to learn the system, especially for someone like me who's played tight end for only one year. I've just been going off athletic ability and skill, that's why I wanted to find a coach who can help me play to the best of my ability and improve…I want to redshirt so I can learn the system. Both coach Osborne and I agree on that."

Williams remarked that aside from working out, much of his time he spent studying. "I'm still working on qualifying," he said. "I need to get an 820 on the SAT to qualify, but I want to get a 900 so I don't have nothing to worry about." The tight end commented that he has a 2.8 GPA.

Williams is disappointed that he won't be able to make it to the team's spring practice, but he does plan to come in July for the off-season workouts, as well as summer school. "I know I need to get in early and work hard so I can earn my spot," he stated. "I'm not worried about having a short summer vacation. There will be plenty of time for me to have fun. Now I need to make a name for myself."

Spoken like a true ‘under the radar' prospect…

Recruit Profile

Name

Jovon Williams

High School

Charter Oak (Covina, Calif.)

Position

TE

Height

6-3

Weight

225

Date of Birth

4/16/87

Birthplace

Los Angeles, Calif.

Nickname

"J-Roc"

Favorite TV Show

"I like watching BET."

Favorite Movie

"Friday After Next"

Favorite Singer/Band

"Three 6 Mafia"

Favorite Food

"Macaroni and Cheese"

Favorite Drink

"Gatorade"

Favorite Athlete

"Kellen Winslow"

Favorite Pro Team

"I don't have one"

Person you most admire

"My grandma because she's such a hard worker"

First Football Memory

"My first time playing I had a fumble recovery."

One Thing most people don't know about me

"I'm a quiet person."

Why did you choose ASU?

"They have a young team and I have a great relationship with coach Osborne."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"I want to be successful making it on my own. I'd like to work in Technology."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories