ZEPHYR — Zephyr senior Devin Williams is making the jump from the six-man level to NCAA Division II football, signing a national letter of intent Wednesday with Tarleton State University.
“This feels pretty awesome. I've been dreaming about this my whole life,” Williams said prior to a signing ceremony in the Zephyr ISD Gymnasium attended by friends, family members and most of the students and faculty in the school district.
Brent Williamson, who coached the Bulldogs during Williams' senior season, said, “For someone from a six-man school to go on to play college football is big, it's very big. Not just for Devin, but for the Zephyr school itself, it's a big step. It's an awesome opportunity for a young man to go play at the next level. He'll also be able to stay pretty close to home so that's good for his family.”
Williams chose Tarleton after receiving interest from Texas A&M-Commerce, McMurry and Howard Payne, among other schools. The Texans are coming off a Lone Star Conference championship and 12-1 season that ended in the third round of the playoffs with a 13-10 loss to No. 1 Minnesota State-Mankato.
“The campus is pretty nice, I like their coaching staff, and I like the color purple,” Williams said regarding his decision to pick Tarleton.
Standing at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Williams towered over much of the competition during his four-year high school career as he amassed 145 receptions for 3,399 yards and 85 touchdowns — an average of 36 grabs for 850 yards with 21 scores per season.
Used primarily as a receiver most of his career, Williams expanded his role as a senior as he completed 51 of 83 passes for 707 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushed for 1,501 yards and 27 touchdowns on 116 carries, caught 21 passes for 406 yards with 11 trips to the end zone, and returned 13 kicks for an average of 32 yards with four touchdowns.
Defensively his senior season, Williams generated 85 tackles with four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries — including two returned for touchdowns — five interceptions — with one pick six — and four pass breakups.
Williams was named Class A Division I Special Teams Player of the Year by the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association as a senior, and was first-team all-state as a receiver his junior and sophomore campaigns.
“Devin's been a great asset to the Zephyr program,” Williamson said. “This was my first year over here, but Devin was very vital in what we did this year. He's an outstanding athlete, an outstanding leader and a great young man. Hopefully he'll carry his success from the past few years to the college level. He's been an amazing young man to watch and coach.”
Looking ahead to his playing days at Tarleton, Williams said, “the coaches told me they are going to put me at either tight end or H-back, and they want me to weigh 240 when I get there.”
As for his football goals, Williams said, “I just want to be the best teammate I can be and be one of the top players while I'm there.”
Williams, who also won the Class A boys discus state silver medal as a junior with a throw of 160-9, stated track and field could also be in his future at Tarleton as well.
“I'm thinking about doing track, probably the discus,” Williams said.
Beyond his college days, Williams is still weighing his career options.
“I haven't decided yet,” Williams said. “I want to maybe to be a game warden or possibly a coach.”