ATLANTA — Jonah Williams knows his competition very well, maybe too well.
Up against him for the Outland Trophy is Alabama teammate Quinnen Williams. The award goes to the nation’s top interior lineman, and technically they both fit the category.
Jonah is the Crimson Tide’s left tackle on offense. Quinnen is the nose guard on defense. Both interior positions on their respective lines.
“We want each other to be great, we want each other to get better,” Quinnen said. “So every time I go up against Jonah, I’m going to give him my best game like I’m going against another dude on another team. And he’s going to give me his best game like I’m Myles Garrett or somebody. So we just really try to compete against each other.”
The College Football Awards show will be Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN. The other finalist for the Outland Trophy is Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.
The offensive Williams has helped Alabama average 202.2 rushing yards per game for a total of 2,626 yards on the ground total through 13 games. UA has given up just 13 sacks this season, too.
The defensive Williams is Alabama’s third-leading tackler with 66 total stops. He has made eight sacks himself for a loss of 57 yards. He has also had a pass breakup and 11 quarterback hurries.
But they’re not comparing stats.
“Not more than just like joking around with each other,” Jonah said. “I think it’s really exciting for Alabama specifically because we pride ourselves on winning the line of scrimmage. So to have two of the best lineman in the country be from each side of the ball, I think that says a lot about how we try to approach the game and win the line of scrimmage.”
To these two, it doesn’t matter who takes home the trophy Thursday, as long as it ends up in Alabama.
“I’m just thankful to have him on my team,” Quinnen said. “I hope he wins, I know he hopes I win. Congratulate him for just being a finalist, and I’m just blessed to be a finalist.”
Along with the two Williams being up for the Outland Trophy, Jerry Jeudy is in contention for the Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver). Tua Tagovailoa is in the running for the Maxwell Award (player of the year) and Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback). Quinnen Williams is also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year).