With the trouble the Kentucky football team has had winning games, it's been easy to overlook what Trai Williams has done to become a starting offensive guard for the Wildcats.
He came to Kentucky as a little-known walk-on player out of
Franklin-Simpson High School in western Kentucky. He redshirted in 2002,
played in five games in 2003 and got in eight games last year, including
a start against Georgia.
"I grew up a Kentucky fan. This is where I wanted to go to school and
play ball since I was a little kid," Williams said. "They didn't offer
me a scholarship, but I came here and made the best out of it. I worked
and that work has paid off."
But did he really believe he could ever become a starter on a
Southeastern Conference team? "I wanted to think that," he said. "But
something told me the probably would not happen. I had seen guys like
Antonio Hall play here and I was nowhere near that good a player
compared to him and some other guys. But I just kept working hard and
good things have come out of it. I just fell into this spot more than
being recruited for this."
He's being modest. Sure, an injury to Micah Jones ended his battle with
Jones for the starting spot. But he was impressing UK coaches even
before Jones got hurt.
"I hope I am good enough to do the job. I give everything I've got every
day and at the end of the day, hopefully that's good enough to help us
win," Williams said.
Williams does know one thing. He appreciates being on scholarship more
now than if he had been given one coming out of high school because he
knows what it took for him to earn the scholarship.
"I know I had to fight for everything to get that scholarship," he said.
"I came in and nobody knew who I was. I was not recruited. I had to hold
my own and let them know I was here to play. I'm proud that I was able
to do that."
He should be, too, because he's already done more than anyone could
realistically have expected and he's done it in a classy, modest manner.
Williams rises from walk-on to scholarship starter
AllWildcats Top Stories
UK Basketball Recruiting Notebook - Oct. 26Kentucky is gearing up for what appears to be another elite basketball recruiting class in 2017.
AllWildcatsYesterday at 7:01 PM
Allen: Cats Must Be Ready for Uptempo TigersKentucky linebacker/end Josh Allen spoke with the media after Wednesday's practice at the Joe Craft Football Training Center.
AllWildcatsYesterday at 6:05 PM
Four Downs: Should UK Be Underdog This Week?When Kentucky takes the field on Saturday at Missouri, it may surprise some that the Wildcats will be a fairly substantial underdog.
AllWildcatsYesterday at 4:25 PM
Johnson's Demeanor Giving UK Shot to WinFew players in recent UK memory have experienced as many highs and lows early in his career like Stephen Johnson has.
AllWildcatsTuesday at 5:53 PM