WEST PALM BEACH – Tyler Williams is completely ready for the next level.
As our latest Vince Wilfork Lineman of the Year, he has demonstrated a dominating presence in the trenches this past season for Oxbridge Academy. Opposing linemen feared him in every way imaginable, which can explain how his impact on the game did so many wonders for the Thunderwolves this past season.
Williams, who had 38 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery in 12 games played, beat out fellow nominees Jonathan Garvin (Miami signed), Robert Holmes (Connecticut signee), Mikey Garafolo (Air Force Academy signee), and B.J. Crawford (Florida A & M signee) for the prestigious honor. The Wake Forest signee, who pledged his verbal commitment to the ACC school last summer, spoke on what it means to be chosen as the area’s best lineman.
“There are a lot of good players we have here,” the 6-1, 295-pound defensive lineman said. “It’s a honor to be separated from the rest as the top dog.”
Williams was also selected as a MaxPreps Small Schools All-American, as well as the Lou Groza Player of the Year, the Palm Beach Post Small Schools Defensive Player of the Year, and the Sun-Sentinel All-Palm Beach Defensive Player of the Year.
“It’s amazing that I was able to accomplish so much in high school,” he said. “I didn’t play football until my freshman year. I’m glad I was able to learn a lot and get things down packed.”
Williams spoke on his decision to officially sign his letter of intent with Wake Forest on Feb. 1.
“As soon as I took a visit out there, I knew it was the place I wanted to play at,” he said. “I have a good chance of playing a lot early. The goal for me is to play right away at defensive tackle for them.”
Williams touched on the level of impact he had on his team this past season in big-time games against Miami Carol City (Class 6A state champion), Flanagan, IMG Academy, and Chaminade-Madonna (Class 3A state runner-up).
“It felt good to lead my team at a spot where most players aren’t able to lead from,” he said. “I got to set the tone for our guys every game, and it showed.”
Williams credits Oxbridge Academy head coach Brendan Kent for his success on and off the field.
“Coach Kent, he’s my guy,” he said. “He always made me stay humble and work hard every day.”
Kent spoke on the bevy of awards that Williams has collected since his senior season ended.
“It’s well-deserved”, the Oxbridge Academy head coach said. “He had a great year for us, and now we’re all excited to see him move on to a school like Wake Forest. We’re going to miss him.”