One more for gridiron glory
And so it ends. The football career of arguably the greatest player ever at Division III Frostburg State (Md.) has one last season between the sidelines.
But just because free safety Russell Williams plans to retire at the end of the Prince William Monarchs season, it does not mean that he’s through competing. After 22 years of football he’s just ready to start kicking butt in another field.
“I want to start doing some martial arts,” Williams said. “When I was a little kid I stopped doing them so I could play football and I always promised myself I would return to that once I was done playing.”
So Williams will trade in his helmet for a robe and take on a new challenge. He also said that his career as an IT consultant with Booze-Allen and Hamilton is beginning to take off and is taking up more of his time. He will stay active in football and Monarchs coach Ray Scott would like him to stay with him as his offensive coordinator.
“I always told him that as soon as he quits that I want him to run my offense,” Scott said.
Williams hurt his knee three weeks ago against the Pennsylvania Scorpions in Quakertown, Pa. and has not played since. He acted as the team’s offensive coordinator last week in the Monarchs’ 52-9 preseason victory over the Maryland Jaguars.
He will not play tonight in the Monarchs’ regular season opener against the Virginia Mutiny, but will run the team’s offense and expects to return to the field next week.
“You wouldn’t believe the plays he calls,” Scott said. “Russell has a lot of knowledge about football and of how to run the plays. He really helps out [Monarchs quarterback] Jamie [Davis] and makes it easy for him. Russell just takes that book and knows what exactly to call.”
A lot of William’s football knowledge came while playing at Frostburg. He was a four-time All-American with the Bobcats and the school’s first ever consensus All-American after graduating from Gar-Field in 1990.
He holds the Division III record for the longest interception return for a touchdown when he took a pass 100-yards for a score against Wesley in 1993. Williams played at Frostburg from 1990-94 and was also an All-American in the triple-jump in 1992.
“That was one of the best experience I ever had,” Williams said of Frostburg. “People kind of looked down their noses at me because I didn’t go to a D-1 school, but if I had the chance to do it all again I would go right back to Frostburg.
“I really had an opportunity to learn the game there. My coach was really good and he would put me in the right position to make plays,” Williams said. “A lot of my accomplishments were not always because of my athletic ability, but because of what I was taught to do.”
Williams has taken his knowledge of the game to the Monarchs. He is the team’s leader in the defensive secondary and calls the team’s coverages. He is also the one who keeps Scott under control.
“Coach Scott likes to blitz a lot and sometimes someone has to tell him to worry about the secondary as well and not forget about us,” Williams said. “Calling the plays is pretty much a gut feeling. You only get to practice twice a week and it’s not like we have film on all the teams, so you have to go with your best assumption.”
The 6-1, 223 pound Williams was named second-team all-conference in the Mason-Dixon Football League’s Northern Division at free safety and was a first-team selection as a kick-returner. He made 59 tackles and picked off three passes in helping the Monarchs to the Mason-Dixon championship
“When he is in that secondary he is in control,” Scott said. “Russell knows the game. He has a lot of knowledge of what he is supposed to do on the field. I’ve watched him the last four years playing for me and he is one of the best defensive safeties around here.”