Williams Happy To Shoulder Responsibility

Troy Williams suffered a shoulder separation on his right arm two weeks ago but it's simply been a major annoyance for the Narbonne High School senior, who might complete the rare feat of graduating school before his football eligibility expires.

Dawgman.com spoke with Troy Sunday to find out more on his shoulder, what he's doing to treat it as the Gauchos get set to play Corona Centennial in inaugural CIF state regional Open Division championship bowl game Saturday night at Cerritos College. The winner will go on to play either De La Salle or Folsom December 15th at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

But Williams graduates from Narbonne on the 14th. "I'm actually graduating in two weeks," the 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback told Dawgman. "I think our semester ends on December 14th. And then I think school up (at Washington) starts on the 7th, so whenever our season is over I'll probably start packing my things and getting ready to go."

What about signing his letter of intent? "Usually you sign the paper that says you're fully committed and for sure you're committed there…the Signing Day is on February 6th and I'm leaving before that, so I don't know how it's going to work," Williams said, adding that the coaches have laid everything out for him so by the time he's ready to enroll January 7th at UW he'll have his scholarship papers worked out and school will be taken care of.

"That won't be a factor at all," he said.

First thing is first, however - and that's the game against Centennial, who beat Vista Murrieta for the chance to square off against the Gauchos. "It's tough, but I just have to play with it," Williams said of his shoulder injury. "I knew regardless I was going to play in the games no matter what type of injury I had. I just have to get over the pain and just play with it and just try and forget about it. I just have to keep icing it and keep rehabbing it and get ready for the game ready next week. But I should be 100 percent by the time next week comes. But if not I just have to play."

And the Narbonne doctors and trainers? "They told me that I wouldn't hurt it any more than it was and I wouldn't shift it or anything by throwing," Williams said of his damaged shoulder. "It just hurts when I throw. I just have to rest it - that's how it's going to heal."

Coaches from Washington went to see Williams and Narbonne defeat Crenshaw 25-0 in the CIF City Section Final this past weekend. "I haven't had any in-home visits yet, but I spoke to them after my game," he said. "They came to see the game and I spoke to them on the phone after the game. They were congratulating me and I can't wait to get up there."

Did the coaches voice any concerns over Williams' shoulder and how it might affect his ability to be ready in time for spring practice at Washington? "They told me that you have to have a lot of heart and you have to play tough with it," Williams shared, adding that his goal since the injury is to make sure he's 100 percent by the time spring football comes around in April. "I'm pretty sure by the time I get up there it'll be fully healed, but if not they have a great medical system up there - they are No. 1 in the medial field in the nation - so I'm pretty sure it'll be taken care of either way."

Williams, even though he verbally committed back in early June, was part of a group of eight players that pledged to Washington during their Rising Stars camp at the end of that month. Even today Williams keeps in touch with all the players that committed that day. "It's a real special group, especially when we're all down there at the same time - hanging down there at a game or practice or whatever…we just keep in touch over text to see how the other high schools are doing and how our careers are doing," he said. "We are just becoming very good friends and we're trying to create that bond for when we get up to college."

As you would expect with a smart quarterback, Williams is already forging alliances with the receivers that will be eventually joining him at Montlake. "I got to create a nice bond with Demorea Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels…just mostly over Twitter and seeing them at U-Dub," he said. "We've got each others' numbers and we text each other every now and then to see how each other is doing."

Despite the biggest game of his life coming up this weekend, Williams is always looking around and playing talent evaluator and amateur sleuth for the UW staff when it comes to finding the best players to join him at Washington. "No doubt, I'm always telling dudes how great Washington is; I know for sure I'm going there so I'm always trying to get somebody to come with me," he said. "I'm always telling coaches about who I like and who've I've seen play good and who is a real good player. I'm always recruiting for Washington."

Any names in particular? "My receiver A.J. Richardson - who is committed to Cal - I'd love to see him…I've been telling them about one of our linebackers, Marquis Lomax - he's doing real good this year," said Williams. "And also our d-lineman Paulo Lepua, he's doing real good. It's just guys that are a little under the radar but probably better than some of those five-star guys. I'm trying to get them some publicity and trying to get them out there."

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