Follow by Email

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jesse Williams in American college football final

Jesse Williams plays for the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide football team and tomorrow night in Miami, the national championship game against Notre Dame University's Fighting Irish will take place. Cable channel ESPN expects to break the record audience, set last year when 27 million watched the game.

The 22 year old is an indigenous Australian on his mother's side.  He was born on Thursday Island and raised in Brisbane.  He's covered in tattoos and almost every inch of his skin has been inked. One spreads all the way down his right arm - a poem written by his father after he graduated from junior college in Arizona - another on the side of his neck reads "Fear is a liar" and he also has CHAMPS in capital letters with a red "A" for Alabama.

He grew up in Brisbane and played basket ball and rugby and saw American football for the first time when he was 15.  He learned more about the game by watching "Any Given Sunday" and "The Waterboy."

He caught the eye of Jerry Dominguez, the defensive coordinator at the junior college Arizona Western when he played for the Australian Junior national team.  When he won 'most valuable player' honours, he offered him a scholarship.

He moved to Arizona four years ago and was shocked by the 123 degree heat and said it felt like "stepping on the sun."

At 6ft 4in, 320 pounds and covered in ink, he looks a bit scary but he's been described as having a "disarmingly friendly presence."  After the Tide won last year's championship, Williams travelled with the team to meet President Obama at the White House.

He eventually plans to come home and help other indigenous Aussies any way he can.  Good luck for tomorrow Jesse.

Edit:  Alabama beat Notre Dame 42-14 to wrap up their second consecutive title.  Jesse said it was something "he would never forget."