Ferriday native could play in tonight’s national championship game for Alabama

Published 5:34 pm Monday, January 11, 2021

Ferriday native and Alabama defensive back Ronald Williams Jr. will be on the sidelines in Miami tonight’s national championship game against Ohio State University.

Ronald Williams Jr.’s father, Ronald Williams Sr., said he doesn’t know if his son will see any playing time tonight. Williams Jr. suffered a broken arm and a hamstring injury this season and has seen action in only five games.

Williams Sr. said his son would be ready to play if he gets the chance to take the field, and being on the field will be a dream come true for his son.

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“You always want to play at that high of a level,” Williams Sr. said. “If they call on him, he is ready.”

Williams Sr. said he went from watching his son from the high school bleachers in Ferriday on Friday nights to being around the corner from his son on the day of the national championship game. Williams Sr. is in Miami for tonight’s game.

A few hours before the game, Williams Sr. said he was sitting by a pool relaxing at a hotel. He said he is filled with excitement to see his son take the field for the Crimson Tide.

Williams Sr. said Williams Jr. played football, basketball and baseball starting when he was 6 years old. Williams Jr. enjoyed competition, he said. In high school, Williams Jr. played quarterback for the Ferriday Trojans and led his team to a quarterfinals appearance.

Former Ferriday head coach Dwight Woods said Williams Jr. was a player who could play at the college level and possibly in the NFL level. Williams Sr. said his son was a Louisiana State University fan and wanted to play there until he was offered by Alabama.

Williams Jr. began his college football career at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, prior to playing at Alabama, where he is in his junior year. Woods said maybe Williams Jr.’s appearance in the national championship game could inspire other kids in Ferriday to strive for success.

“We are just as proud of him as we can be,” Woods said. “It just shows when you work hard and when you persevere. The only limit you have is if you limit yourself. He is one of those kids who we talk about. You can be anything, and you can be successful. He bought into it and he is experiencing it.”

Current Ferriday head coach Stanley Smith said this is the second straight national championship game featuring a player from Ferriday. Dare Rosenthal is a Ferriday native and played for LSU when the Tigers won the national championship game over Clemson last year.

Smith said while Ferriday is a small town most people would typically just drive through, having players represents the black and gold on the national level showcases the talent Ferriday has. Smith said he is proud of Williams Jr. for making it to the national championship game.

“We are proud of him. He used football as an avenue,” Smith said. “For those kids to reach that stage that speaks volumes of who they are, and where they have been.”