This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I decided to write about BYU freshman Jamaal Williams yesterday, thinking that the 17-year-old running back will see quite a few carries on Saturday when the Cougars take on Weber State. That online story can be found here. There's a feature on BYU assistant coach Nick Howell, an Ogden boy who graduated from Weber State but didn't play football for the Wildcats, in the newspaper this morning. And here's my game advance, with the coach Bronco Mendenhall's thoughts that if BYU is going to play an FCS school, he wants it to be either Weber State, Southern Utah or Idaho State basically teams in the region. Back to Williams. He decided to room with freshman receiver Dylan Collie when the two became friends during Junior Day, and he said so far he's enjoying college life in Provo. "It has been pretty good, so far. I am getting used to it. There are a lot of nice people around here, helping me out and stuff. I am having a good experience right now, for my first year," he said. Williams said he has a driver's license, but no car, so he gets around campus on his bicycle or gets rides from teammates. " When I came on Junior Day, Dylan Collie was here, and really friendly. And he knew all the coaches already. I finally figured it out: he's Austin Collie's brother. That was great to room up with him, because he is a lot like me he came from California. So, it is a great thing," Williams said. Williams said running backs such as Michael Alisa and David Foote have looked out for him and that linebacker Kyle Van Noy is his primary motivator before games. What does he remember about his first college game? "It is a lot louder, a lot louder. A lot of bigger, faster, more athletic people than I expected. So I just went out there with the motive to do my best, and try to help my team win," he said. Williams said the most difficult thing about Provo to adjust to is the altitude, but he is worried about winter, too. "When I first got here, I couldn't breathe at all. I mean, I took a sprint, and I was already tired. I am used to it now, and it is cool," he said. "I am just not looking forward to the snow and the cold. Me don't like cold." The freshman said "the people and the players" are what made him pick BYU. "They are really like me: they are dedicated to what we are doing, and they really love football, and really want to win a national championship ... When I came on my recruiting trip, and watched them play against Utah State, I saw a lot of heart. They were down, and they never gave up. They fight all the way through, and I liked that."