Jameson Williams goes in-depth on decision to transfer to Alabama
Jameson Williams hauled in nine catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns during the 2020 season. There was a great chance to see those numbers increase this upcoming season, but the Buckeyes also return two potential first rounders at the position in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. The position group is deep and considered by many as one of the best units in college football.
Williams has seen playing time during his career in Columbus, but with a fully-stocked group of stars at the position he began to question how significant his role in year three at Ohio State.
"To me, things were just unclear," Williams said. "I wasn't certain of my role in the offense. The receiver room got crowded. I just decided I needed a fresh start. I decided to enter the portal."
The portal allows student-athletes to purse other opportunities and transfer to a different school. Players are essentially recruited again. There were many immediate suitors when Williams placed his name on the list.
A talented receiver is certainly on the 'most wanted' list for programs throughout the country. It just so happens Alabama, the defending national champions and the best program in college football, was in the market for another playmaker.
"It was crazy," he said on the day he entered the transfer portal. "My phone was going crazy. I couldn't text or call anyone because my phone was going off non-stop. As soon as Bama hit me up, I was like damn is this for real?
"I now had a chance to play at Bama. It was really the only thing on my mind when I had that chance. I let other schools recruit me. I wanted to give them a chance, but Alabama was the best place for me at the end of the day.
"I can't even say if there was a close second. I talked to Coach Saban and Coach Wiggins. It turned my mind into thinking I need to be there. I need to be there now. They hit me up very early; the very first day I entered the portal. It was within minutes.
"I felt like it was the best situation for me out of all the other schools. I had a great relationship with the coaches there from the past. Everything really just fell into line at the right time."
Williams was heavily pursued by Alabama during his high school recruitment. He ultimately chose the Buckeyes, but there were family members who preferred him signing with Alabama. He took four visits to Alabama during his recruitment. He is very familiar with the campus and looks forward to learning from first year offensive coordinator, Bill O'Brien.
"It was real close," he said of his decision between Alabama and Ohio State. "My dad and I had full blown out arguments about it. I was thinking different than him and went to Ohio State instead of Alabama.
"I'm ready to get down there. I think the offense should be a real fun thing. I have seen a lot of good things, and I know they have great guys down there. I've been watching practice footage, and I watched the spring game. I think we can do big things.
"A few of the guys in the receiver room reached out to me. I knew Jaleel Billingsley back when we were going through our recruitment. He reached out to me recently. Really a lot of those guys reached out.
"I talked to Coach O'Brien a few hours after my commitment. He told me he is really excited to get me going down there. He thinks we can do big things in the offense this year. I am just ready to get there."
There are plenty of new faces on the offensive side of the ball which also includes members of the coaching staff from Bill O'Brien, Robert Gillespie (running backs), Drew Svoboda (tight ends) and Doug Marrone (offensive line). Alabama also replaces quarterback Mac Jones with sophomore Bryce Young.
"Bryce is real tough," Williams said. "I threw with him back in the day at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge. I remember talking to Garrett Wilson about him. Garrett was saying how good of a quarterback he was. I know he is really good and look forward to working with him."
Alabama has established itself as ‘Wide Receiver U’ after sending two more first round draft picks to the NFL in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.
"For sure," he replied when asked if Alabama's production at the position played a role into his decision. "It definitely did for sure. They said that can be me in the next year or two. They really think my speed is a nice add to the game. It just really checked all the boxes for me."
The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is supposed to report to Alabama on May 24. He says he may go down a week earlier to adjust to life on campus. He believes people see him more as a 'speed' guy, but Williams believes he is a complete receiver who can make big plays and have a major impact in the Tide's offense.
He isn’t the only transfer who announced for Alabama in the last week. Former Tennessee starting linebacker Henry To'oto'o will also join Alabama's team later this month. Williams said he doesn't know To'oto'o who was also in the 2019 recruiting class. He hopes they can form a great relationship being the "new guys" at the Capstone.
Williams saw what Alabama did to the Buckeyes in a 52-24 beatdown in the national championship in January. He is eager to join the team and help the Tide compete for a chance to win a seventh national title under head coach Nick Saban.
"Those guys were hungry," Williams said about the 2020 Alabama football team. "I saw them on film and then being on the sideline whether it was offense or defense. Those guys were hungry and really wanted it. That's the mindset I have. I feel like I will fit right in with them."