OSSEO, Minn. (BVM) — Jerome Williams has emerged as one of the very best high school players in the state at Osseo Senior High School.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman is the No. 2 player in Minnesota according to 247 Sports.
But for Williams, it was all about basketball growing up. In fact, he did not try football until his freshman year.
After being convinced by the football team to give it a shot, Williams showed up to his first practice in his basketball shoes and got to work.
“We did a lot of running, so I kept slipping everywhere,” Williams joked.
His size gave him a big advantage when he started out, but the time spent learning the game is what has made him so coveted today.
“I didn’t have a perception (of football) at all,” Williams said. “I didn’t really know the rules and what I could and couldn’t do.”
After being very unfamiliar with the Xs and Os of the game, Williams is now a film junkie, always priding himself on getting better in any way he can.
“I fell in love with watching film,” Williams said. “Whether it’s myself, other schools, or opponents. I don’t even have an issue with getting yelled at in the film room because I’m always learning.”
He spent his first season playing for the freshman team as a defensive end before making the varsity team as a sophomore and being flipped to the offensive side of the ball.
It took time, but eventually, Williams developed a strong love for the position.
“It’s something I just grew into,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of grit. You’ve got to be nasty and have to be a fighter. It’s something I really enjoy now.”
By the time his junior season came around, not only did he enjoy it, but he got really good at it.
In February of that year, Williams announced his commitment to the in-state Golden Gophers.
The combination of living only 20 minutes away from Huntington Bank Stadium and his connection with the coaching staff was too good to pass up.
— Jerome Williams (@nolimitjerome) February 2, 2022
“The coaches always made a conscious effort to reach out,” Williams said. “The whole aspect of them not only caring about you as a player but caring about your well-being also helped.”
Sometimes the situation that Williams is in can get to a young man, but despite being a highly-touted recruit committed to a Big Ten school, he makes a concerted effort to not let it get to his head.
“I’ve always made sure I kept my people around me,” Williams said. “I try to be welcoming. Even talking to some of the freshman players and trying to coach them up. Just remembering everyone who was there that kind of started off my journey.”
The next step in Williams’ journey will be in Minneapolis, but this step will be in football cleats rather than basketball shoes.