Taj Williams always had speed.
As a senior for Lincoln during the 2012-13 school year, Williams won a state track title as part of the Trojans’ 4×100 relay.
During his final football season he caught 56 balls for 786 yards and 11 touchdowns. Williams was named the 2012 All-Big Bend Co-Player of the Year. He was a 4-star receiving prospect with offers from every major school, but he ultimately signed with Indiana.
However, failing to qualify academically led Williams down a different route than he intended. He wound up missing out on the 2013 season and landed at Iowa Western Community College. But there he got himself back on track and more.
“I learned about work ethic, and I learned to be patient with things,” said Williams while back in town to watch Lincoln at FSU’s 7-on-7 tournament last weekend. “I picked up a lot of things at junior college. It’s been a humbling experience going from high school to junior college.”
Williams amassed 77 catches for 949 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman last year for the Reivers, who finished as the No. 3 NJCAA team. He was then rated the top JUCO prospect in the nation, which got every major school back on board.
“I’ve been preparing myself to be a better receiver since high school,” said Williams, who became a second-team NJCAA All-American. “I’ve done a lot of off-the-line work. In high school, being so fast, I didn’t get pressed that much, but in junior college everyone is about the same. I got stronger in the weight room and was able to handle when I got pressed.”
Now, Williams, who added 20 pounds since high school to his 6-foot-4 and currently 190-pound frame, has committed to play for TCU, which last year finished 11-1 and sixth-ranked in the nation. The Horned Frogs were a 61-58 conference loss to No. 5 Baylor away from being in the College Football Playoffs as arguably the hottest team in the country.
“It’s going to be a fun season this upcoming year. I’m looking forward to it,” Williams said. “I like the program in general. I felt like I just clicked with the coaches and their vision. We’d get together, break down film. I really can’t wait to get there.”
God Is Truly Good man I can't wait see you again in December Fort Worth #TOOCOLDU 🐸🏈🐸🏈 I'm a HornFrog #FunkyTownpic.twitter.com/Lg1zOF5sqe
— TAj Williams (@Tahzh_) May 30, 2015
Williams spurned offers from hometown Florida State and soon-to-be rival Texas. He and his new Horned Frogs teammates will square off with the Longhorns on October 3 in Fort Worth, Texas.
At that time, he’ll get to see former Lincoln teammate John Burt lining up in burnt orange as a true freshman receiver.
A fight for bragging rights will ensue.
“That will be fun, one of my old buddies,” Williams said. “I don’t care about the stats. I just want to win.”