Jafar Williams is a former impact receiver with four years of Big Ten coaching experience. Williams looks forward to the chance to impart knowledge on the Rutgers receivers room this spring but the receivers have to carry their own weight.
Williams does not teach the “competitive edge.” That much is up to roster, which returns 59 percent of its yardage and 23 percent of its scoring after Leonte Carroo’s departure.
“We just have to compete,” Williams said during a National Signing Day conversation. “Everything else will take care of itself. The only thing I tell them is I don’t coach effort. We have to be competitors every time we step on the field, we need to compete and help our team to give our team a chance to win games.”
Williams accepted a position at Rutgers as the running backs coach in January before head coach Chris Ash switched his role with Zak Kuhr.
Kuhr joined the staff after he spent 2015 at James Madison. Williams joins the program from Purdue.
“That's what Zak has coached for the majority of his years in coaching and I think that will be the best fit for our staff and our players moving forward," Ash said on Signing Day. "Jafar played wide receiver and has coached wide receivers. I'm very excited about the switch and transition with our offensive staff there."
Williams is a former Maryland Terrapin that looks forward to his return to receiver after he played the position for Ralph Friedgen.
“I coached receivers for my first six years of coaching,” Williams said. “It wasn’t until my last five years that I’ve actually coached running backs. It gave me perspective for the run game. Being a receiver, you learn things from the top down as opposed from the offensive line. Learning the run game helped me professionally in developing my skills as well.”
Williams is back at home on the East Coast.
Williams attended Philadelphia George Washington High before he played at Maryland. Williams is also closer to family with Rutgers – his mother lives less than 90 minutes away.
“I think it’s just an overall advantage,” he said on relationships in Philadelphia and South Jersey. “Any time you have knowledge of the area, you understand the culture of the area, it helps you in not just recruiting but everything.”
Ash hired Williams as the final position coach to complete his staff. He begins on-field work with receivers in spring practice.
“The benefit of being a younger coach is you relate,” he said. “You’re not that far removed from the game. You related to what they’re going through and their experiences and you can give them advice on some of those situations. I met with some of the receivers [on Tuesday] and I said I probably listen to some of the same music you listen to. I probably wear some of the same clothes you wear.”