Williams will give both sports a serious look

Terrebonne's Justin Williams burst onto the scene as a football prospect last season and has been one of the state's top baseball players for several years. Now he's ready for his junior year in both sports and will have a decision to make: College sports or pursuing a professional baseball career.

After one of the most successful seasons in the history of Terrebonne High football, two-sport star Justin Williams is anxious to see what his junior year on the grid iron will bring.

Last fall Terrebonne marched to a 9-1 finish and a trip into the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs – the best record and furthest into the playoffs the Tigers have been since 1991.

Senior quarterback Mike Williams had plenty to do with the success, throwing for 1,800 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 600 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Taking part in football for the first time, Williams' younger brother Justin Williams also burst onto the Louisiana prep scene, leading Terrebonne receivers with 40 receptions for 509 yards (12.9 average) and five touchdowns.

His debut last fall led to plenty of accolades, from first-team All-Area to first-team All-District.

"That was a lot of fun, especially since I didn't know what to expect going in," Justin Williams said. "They lined me up at receiver and let me go, and my brother and I had a great connection.

"I feel like I learned a lot though. I think I'll be a lot more polished this year. We also have a good quarterback to replace Mike, so my junior season should be even better. And I ended up playing hurt a lot last year, but I didn't tell the coaches because I didn't want to ever come out of a game."

While it was his first year under the lights on a Friday night, Williams is no stranger to the spotlight. As evidenced by his travels this summer, the 15-year old rising junior is also one of the state's elite baseball prospects.

He recently committed to LSU in baseball and has spent a busy summer on the diamond.

"I am on Team USA right now, so that's where my focus is with baseball," Williams said. "I got selected to play and so did a couple of other guys from Louisiana. I just got back from Georgia after staying there for weeks, and before that I had been in Florida. I don't think I have been back at home in over a month."

Because of baseball, Williams has been forced to put football on the backburner – at least momentarily.

On Thursday morning, the Terrebonne football staff kicked off the opening session of fall camp.

"I'm definitely ready to get back out there and put on pads again," Williams said. "I was able to play in a few 7-on-7 games at the beginning of the summer, and even though I had injured my foot (four-wheeler accident), I was playing great. I had something like six touchdowns in two games. But then someone stepped on my foot and it started bleeding again, so I couldn't come back until that next week."

Back to full health, Williams will begin a junior campaign that will start on the grid iron and wrap up next spring on the diamond, and at some point he hopes to have more clarity on what his future holds –college sports or launching a professional baseball career if he's drafted highly enough in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.

"I really don't know what I am going to do yet," Williams said. "Baseball is my first love, but this was just my first year of football. I have been out there playing shortstop and second base forever. I'm still young, so there's time. I don't even turn 16 until Aug. 20, and I know a lot of coaches like that."

After pledging to play baseball for the Tigers, Williams hopes the upcoming season will draw the same interest from the LSU football staff, a scholarship he would have to earn if he has hopes of playing both sports in Baton Rouge.

"I have done some LSU camps with Coach (Paul) Mainieri, and LSU is really the main school on me right now," he said. "If things got that way with football, then I'd have to think hard about college and playing both. It would definitely be a nice option to have."

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