Anthony Williams, Jr. was seemingly too young to remember.
For the record, he was four years old.
Old enough to become involved in recreational sports, as far as his mother, Rosalind Banks-Mayshack, was concerned.
“At the age of four, Anthony was enrolled in several sports at the local YMCA for extra-curricular activity,” Banks-Mayshack told Making Headline News this week. “He is an only child and there were literally no children in the neighborhood in his age group, so the YMCA was one of the avenues used to allow him to play and interact with other kids his age.”
As Banks-Mayshack recalled, her son initially gave basketball a go.
Then he ventured off into T-ball.
Months later, it was on to flag football.
By the time he had turned six, he advanced to competitive football.
That is when things got a little more intriguing.
A little more than 11 years removed from having made his YMCA debut, Williams, Jr. has evolved as a prep football standout in mighty Texas, where this tradition-rich sport undoubtedly has become a hotbed for college scouts and recruiters.
A two-year starter for Hightower High in Missouri City, Texas — which is in the outskirts of Houston — Williams doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his skills on display at the next level.
To his credit, it’s not a matter of if he will be afforded the golden opportunity of playing college football.
Rather, it’s a matter of when.
A solid 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman, Williams, Jr. who has one full season of high school eligibility remaining, has already received one official scholarship offer, a development that transpired just before the start of the 2016 season.
The first school to toss its name in the hat for the Williams, Jr. sweepstakes: Alcorn State University.
“That list should expand,” Hightower coach Padriac McGinnis said of Williams, Jr., who was recently invited to Army All-American Combine in San Antonio. “I’m surprised he’s only gotten one offer.”
Still, Williams, Jr., whom McGinnis describes as one of the best all-around players he’s coached in some time, doesn’t appear fazed that his recruiting process is off to a somewhat slow start, in large part because he has manufactured a solid body of work over the past two seasons.
WATCH ANTHONY WILLIAMS, JR. IN ACTION: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4501897/5721e7530dcb0d12f889d0cb.
Asides from being installed as a starter for a second consecutive year for a Hightower team that finished with a 5-5 mark in 2016, Williams, Jr.’s list of accolades reads like someone who’s being introduced to give a speech.
For starters, he was named Second-Team All-District as a sophomore only to upgrade that to First-Team All-District as a junior.
Add to the fact that he was ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in Texas and amongst the Top 25 offensive tackles in the state by Lonestar Prospects, and it’s no wonder many who have witnessed Williams, Jr. continuous progress in recent years believe other schools in all likelihood will surface with scholarship offers.
The biggest mystery that remains is when.
“I played very well this season,” said Williams, Jr., who was selected to appear in the USA Football Development Games for a second straight year. “It was very challenging. However, I rose to the challenge. I had to come into the season taking on a new position of left tackle and I had to take a leadership role as a returning starter.”
Even while being entrusted with a new role, Williams, Jr.’s was as good as advertised — this after he helped propelled the Hurricanes to an impressive 10-1 finished and a district championship in his first full season as a starter.
For his efforts, other schools have taken notice, thus placed him under their radar.
According to Williams. Jr., the University of Houston, Texas State, Grambling State, Southern University, and the University of Minnesota have expressed interest in what appears to be shaping up to be a memorable culmination to high school football career for a kid who’s gone to great lengths to make his mother proud.
“When I watch Anthony on the field, I am amazed and proud of the athlete and the young man that he has become,” Banks-Mayshack said. “He works very hard and his hard work is paying off both on and off of the field. He has a determination to do well and finish and that drive is exemplified on the football field.”
McGinnis echoed Banks-Mayshack’s thorough assessment.
“He’s a formidable kid,” McGinnis said of Williams, Jr. “He can play all three positions. He’s a great kid…very respectful. He gets the job done. He’s almost like a coach on the field. He’s very vocal, but not a yeller. He’s a leader in that he talks to (his teammates) and let them know what’s going on.”
After pausing momentarily, McGinnis suddenly offered a rather unique assessment about which scouts should consider.
“If I’m running late (for practice), he’d go out and get the drills started without me even telling him,” McGinnis said.
What a difference 11-plus years have made for a player who has made a strong case that he deserving of playing on Saturdays some time in Fall 2018.
“Anthony has come a long way from the six-year-old kid that did not know how to wrap up to the young man who loves the game and considers it his craft,” Banks-Mayshack said.
For the record, he knows exactly what he’s doing now, a trend about which a host of colleges will likewise find out.
Much sooner than later.
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Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.