Perseverance pays off for former walk-on LSU RB Josh Williams
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With recruiting such a big focus, it’s not often you see a walk-on scoring a decisive touchdown for LSU in an SEC game but that’s what Tiger running back Josh Williams did against Mississippi State.
In his fourth year with the program, Williams is finally experiencing the moment he’s been working and waiting for.
“First SEC touchdown for me in my career,” said Williams. “Just all that emotion getting in and all that effort is just ... it’s a great feeling and I was glad to experience that will all my teammates.”
“Joshua told me, I said, ‘What were you thinking when you scored that touchdown?’ and he said, ‘Momma, Coach Frank said, ‘If you get the ball, you better score that touchdown, whatever you do,’” said his mother, Kimberly Williams. “He said, ‘I better score this touchdown,’ and he did.”
Since he was born, Josh has been around football. His father, Jermaine, was a running back in the NFL during the late 90s. His teammate and friend while playing for the Raiders was none other than former LSU star running back Harvey Williams, who affectionately became known as “Uncle Harvey” to young Josh.
“I’m fired up, man,” said Harvey Williams. “He could play football, basketball, run track. That family is very very talented, man. They’re part of my family. I’ve been around him since he was a kid. I’m so proud of him. We’re so proud of him and it’s going to be interesting to see what he does the next couple of years.”
While playing for Kinkaid High School in Houston, Williams won three state championships in four years. There were college scholarship offers but Josh walked on at LSU. During his first year, he ran on the scout squad and suffered a torn ACL. But 2019 was still a wonderful experience.
During the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Williams saw some action and enjoyed some moments. As the 2022 season approached, there was one guy truly hoping Williams was ready to take the next step.
“There’s one guy that I always root for, and the group knows it,” said Kevin Faulk, the former LSU running backs coach. “Josh Williams, he’s one of the smartest on and off the field. He just does the right thing whenever you ask him to do something.”
Meanwhile, off the field, Williams has certainly taken care of his academics. He made the dean’s list over the summer. His grade point average has been around 3.5 and he’s scheduled to graduate in business in December.
“Academics, you know, challenges you,” said Keenen Maddox, LSU asst. of academic affairs. “It gives critical thinking skills. It makes your wheels turn. And Josh, he embraces that.”
“He’s just a guy that just keeps grinding, just keeps punching, keeps going. He just wants to be bigger than football. And that’s always awesome to see,” added Maddox.
For his career, Williams has 52 rushing attempts for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He also has no fumbles. His longest run was for 30 yards against Ole Miss in 2020 in a 53-48 win for the Tigers.
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