University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior defensive end Josh Williams, the Mocs’ all-time record holder in sacks and a preseason first-team All-Southern Conference pick, sat down with the Times Free Press to answer a variety of questions. Here are the most illuminating responses:
What’s the most memorable moment of your athletic career?
“I would say my freshman year, when I set the [UTC] freshman record for sacks. Being that it was the first record I ever broke, it meant a lot to me. ... Actually, for get that, the most memorable moment was my first sack against Glenville State. It was my first game and I’ll never forget it.”
What athlete do you admire most?
“I have a plethora of athletes I look up to because I see them working hard or whatever, but Jon Beason of the Carolina Panthers would definitely be one, and Ray Lewis, of course, he’s an inspirational guy. Another would be Tamba Hali, the defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I’d like to be working, hopefully, in the physical therapy field. I want to play more football once I leave college, but I know in 10 years I’ll probably be done.”
What skill do you have that a lot of people don’t know about?
“I’m actually good at poetry, which might surprise people — it’s kind of my unknown skill. I’m not like a regular poet who writes stuff all the time, but I’m creative with my words. I have these random moments of thoughts where I put words together, but I don’t write them down.”
If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“I love me some spaghetti — a good amount of noodles and meatballs. My mom’s the one that got me loving it when I was a kid.”
What’s your favorite sports movie?
“I’d say ‘Gridiron Gang’ starring The Rock. That’s a good movie — the inner-city kids having a tough time with it and trouble in life, and then trying to find a better way through football. It’s very inspiring.”
What part of playing college football has been the biggest surprise?
“Probably how I’ve been able to do OK at it. I didn’t expect myself to be starting my freshman year or anything like that. I came in with low aspirations but high hopes. Now the way things have taken off has been a big surprise for me.”
What music, if any, do you listen to before a game?
“I don’t listen to any music at all. I’m like a shut-in guy, and before a game I like to just focus on my own thoughts and just think about what I want to do and what I want to accomplish. I’m as calm as possible before a game because I know I’m going to blow myself out if I get too hyped.”
If you had to be stranded on a desert island with two teammates, who would they be and why?
“One former teammate I’d have to have with me is DeMarkus Lee, the end of finished up last year. He was always keeping me humble and always gave me knowledge. The other one would definitely be Davis Tull because he’s just an animal. He could go out there and catch a cheetah and bring it home.”
If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?
“I’d have to say The Rock. He just seems like he has such a good life and a life I want to live. He has the money and the fame, and he works out all the time, too.”
What will it take for this season to be a success in your eyes?
“It’s definitely time to take that next step and get into the playoffs. We’ve been on the cusp of it for a long time now. A successful season for me would be winning the SoCon championship, going to the playoffs, and we’ll see what happens from there.
What are you going to miss the most when your UTC career is over?
“My teammates, not questions. They make everything fun and it’s always a happy day when I’m around the guys and laughing and having fun with them.”
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
“Stay tough and stay strong, because it’s going to get hard some days and sometimes the pressure might get to you. But you’ve got to stay strong because it does get better.”
Did you need that advice when you were a freshman?
“I got it, that’s why I’m still here. I definitely wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t get it. Guys like Josh Beard and DeMarkus Lee, they were like, I know it’s tough right now but you can get through it. They kept me sane and helped me stay strong.”
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...