Fol­som’s Wil­liams could be high­est lo­cal NFL draft pick in his­tory

Bounc­ing around the foot­ball re­gions in a for­ward lean ...

The Sacramento Bee - - Front Page - BY JOE DAVIDSON jdavid­[email protected]

JONAH TIME

When Jonah Wil­liams was in high school, it was com­mon for Fol­som foot­ball coaches to stop prac­tice for the sheer sake of hu­man­ity.

There, in front of them, were often a pile of bod­ies laid out, like some­thing out of a car­toon scene. Only Wil­liams would be left stand­ing from these scrimmage scrums.

Fol­som coaches Kris Richardson and Troy Tay­lor would halt the ac­tion and de­clare, “Jonah! You have to take it easy on our guys. You’re killing them.”

Wil­liams knew only one speed and one de­gree of fe­roc­ity then, and now, and he con­tin­ues to con­quer all comers. Af­ter two stel­lar sea­sons at Fol­som and three at Alabama, the 6-foot-5, 301-pound tackle is ready to throw his weight around at the high­est level of com­pe­ti­tion.

On Fri­day, Wil­liams de­clared he will forgo his se­nior sea­son of col­lege to en­ter the 2019 NFL draft. Per his good na­ture, he thanked ev­ery­one in­volved in the process, from fam­ily to coaches to train­ers to staff.

Wil­liams is NFL ready, and he’s poised to make re­gional his­tory in his lat­est quest. A pro­jected top-5 pick, Wil­liams could be­come the high­est drafted NFL re­gional prospect.

De­fen­sive end Reg­gie Rogers of Norte Del Rio in Del Paso Heights went sev­enth over­all to the Detroit Li­ons out of Wash­ing­ton in 1987. The high­est drafted of­fen­sive line­man from this area is Gor­don King out of Bella Vista and Stan­ford, who was se­lected 10th by the New York Giants in 1978.

MONT­GOMERY STAYS

Tay­lor, Sacra­mento State’s newly ap­pointed foot­ball coach, has re­tained James Mont­gomery as run­ning backs coach.

This fall will be Mont­gomery’s sixth sea­son on the staff. The for­mer Cor­dova High star tail­back helped groom Eli­jah Dot­son of An­te­lope fame to a first-team Big Sky Con­fer­ence honor last fall. As a sopho­more, Dot­son rushed for 1,154 yards and nine touch­downs.

With the re­turn of quar­ter­back Kevin Thom­son, the Hor­nets fig­ure to com­pete right away un­der Tay­lor af­ter an in­jury­plagued 2018 sea­son re­sulted in a 2-8 record.

TRIO OF COACHES

There are a num­ber of

high school foot­ball coach­ing va­can­cies, in­clud­ing plum gigs at Fol­som, Co­sumnes Oaks and Chris­tian Brothers, and any dis­cus­sion of new hires should in­clude Josh Crab­tree, Paul Do­herty and Chris Nixon, each a proven leader with per­son­al­ity and re­sults.

Crab­tree pro­duced com­pet­i­tive teams at Shel­don and helped play­ers ac­cept Di­vi­sion I schol­ar­ships while urg­ing them to be good stu­dents and cit­i­zens, and then he logged sev­eral sea­sons as an as­sis­tant at Amer­i­can River Col­lege.

Do­herty led Sacra­mento High to record suc­cess and had a stop at Whit­ney be­fore coach­ing this past sea­son at Fol­som, which ben­e­fited from his strength and con­di­tion­ing pro­gram.

Nixon has long been known as an of­fen­sive guru, and his Elk Grove teams ear­lier this decade were among the best in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. All three should be head coaches this fall.

STONE’S THROW

Stone Smartt, the one­time Del Oro All-Metro quar­ter­back, was named the Cal­i­for­nia Com­mu­nity Col­lege Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion Of­fen­sive Player of the Year.

The 6-5, 220-pound sopho­more led River­side to an 11-1 record and fi­nal state rank­ing of No. 3 by pass­ing for 31 touch­downs and rush­ing for nine. Smartt has signed with Old Do­min­ion.

ALL-AMER­I­CAN NO­TICE

Also mak­ing the JC All-Amer­ica team were all-pur­pose player Ryan Gra­ham of Sierra Col­lege and Lin­coln High and DeShawn Collins of Grant roots and City Col­lege of San Fran­cisco at util­ity. Collins has signed with Cal to play run­ning back.

Will Broc­chini of Sierra out of Whit­ney was a re­peat All-Amer­i­can at cor­ner­back. He has signed with Old Do­min­ion.

Kick­off-re­turn spe­cial­ist Jalen Lam­p­ley of San Ma­teo by way of Franklin High also earned a first­team honor.

Cal­i­for­nia has 68 com­mu­nity col­leges and the rest of the coun­try has 65, so mak­ing this team is a big deal.

DAVID PHILLIP AP

Jonah Wil­liams starred at Fol­som and Alabama. He’s ready to tackle the NFL.

RAN­DALL BEN­TON Bee file

Stone Smartt, left, was named Cal­i­for­nia’s Of­fen­sive Player of the Year at the Com­mu­nity Col­lege level.

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