By Keith Farner
A study in perseverance, Troy Williams is someone who stands perpetually ready for when his time comes.
A highly-regarded quarterback prospect from Carson, Calif., Williams began his college football career as a key recruit at the University of Washington. But a coaching change left him on the outside looking in, and needing a place to go after just one start for the Huskies.
His first reset came through a reunion with his high school offensive coordinator, Tim Kaub, who had moved on to coach at Santa Monica College. Though it was a chance to get back closer to home, and play again in front of family and friends, Williams’ dream remained steely-eyed focus on playing again in the Pac-12. A momentary stop-over on his path to fulfill his football dreams, Williams said he had no regrets.
“One of my best decisions I had was going there,” he said of playing with former high school teams, and getting back on the field. “That’s what I really wanted to do was play. Enjoy the process. I felt like it humbled me, and brought a lot of fire back into my heart for the year.”
No matter the side-winding paths his football career took, that fire in his heart stuck with him. His next stop was the University of Utah, where he not only won the starting quarterback job, he was voted captain by his teammates, then led the Utes to a 9-4 record in 2016, including wins over hometown schools Southern Cal and UCLA.
A year later, he was supplanted as starter, but aimed to be the best teammate he could be, and later filled in for an injured teammate and led Utah to a 30-24 win at Arizona. Williams then reinforced his leadership characteristics, and drew national headlines, when he took himself out a bowl game so that a teammate could get on the field. His passion for the game is clear.
“I feel like I embrace the moment,” Williams said. “I love the stage, I love playing in big games. I love those two-minute drives, down, need a touchdown to win, need a field goal to win. My passion is just out the roof. I can’t really explain it, when I get on the field, it’s just something else. It’s really a blessing to be able to play this game.”
Since his college career ended, Williams has stayed focus on his dream of playing professional football. He called having football as a job a blessing, and because of the way his senior season unfolded, he was prepared to not get drafted. Since the spring, he’s participated in a pro day, and was invited to the Seattle Seahawks rookie minicamp. Through the workouts, he became stronger and faster, and mentally, he was a lot happier.
“Just the fact that I was able to be in the process of actually chasing my dream,” Williams said, “it was actually right in front of me.”
Williams still figures his chance is coming to show a coach or general manager what he has to offer.
“I feel like I can compete with any guy that got drafted,” he said. “Any quarterback that went through the draft process, or any quarterback that got signed. I know I could compete with them to the best of my ability, with no issue at all.”
“I just knew I would have to keep working, I just can’t give up. I wake up every day and get right back to the grind. It’s the only way I know how.”