Want to know how well regarded Jonah Williams was by his coaches? It doesn’t take much digging to find such information.
As a true freshman, Williams earned Offensive Player of the Week honors in 60 percent of the games he played. He also took home Freshman All-American acclaim and second-team All-SEC recognition. Film review by his coach routinely saw him grade in the high 80s.
All things considered, he put forth one of the best freshman seasons of the Nick Saban era at Alabama. That was at right tackle. This year, he moved to left tackle to replace Cam Robinson.
“It’s been good. I like it,” Williams said. “It’s been a smooth transition. I’m just kind of doing what the coaches ask me. It’s above my pay grade to make that kind of decision.
“But I enjoy playing left tackle. It’s what I’ve wanted to play for a long time. I’m comfortable there.”
The near-universal praise he received last season didn’t only come from inside the meeting rooms and practice fields. Opposing coaches, players and college football analysts trumpeted his ability.
SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic highlighted Williams’ awareness and his technical and fundamental skill.
Alabama RT Jonah Williams. 50 yards downfield. Hard not to appreciate that effort. https://t.co/PEaolsdjcL
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) November 14, 2016
His teammates learned quickly to have faith in Williams’ abilities. They carry that faith forward that he’ll perform well at left tackle.
“It’s been pretty easy for him, I think,” left guard Ross Pierschbacher said. “He said he feels maybe even more comfortable on the left than the right which is surprising to me. He’s done a really good job.
“He’s the type of guy that if he sets him mind to it, he’s going to achieve it. He really wanted to get that left tackle spot and he’s done everything to earn it.”
There is natural curiosity about how he’ll handle the switch from right tackle to left. He doesn’t seem that daunted by the task.
“It’s the same as anyone trying to do anything with their left hand they usually do with their right or their left foot or whatever,” Williams said. “But at the same time I use my right hand for a lot of stuff at left tackle so it’s not a huge difference from that standpoint. It takes a little bit of getting used to when you’re watching film to have your eyes snap from the left tackle to right tackle. But I played both in high school. We did field and boundary operations, so I would switch every single time the ball went to the other hash.”