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Why winning Jacobs Blocking Trophy was mind-blowing to Williams

ATLANTA — Shortly after winning the 2018 Outland Trophy, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams said his teammate, Jonah Williams, is the best player he has ever competed against.

Both players were finalists for the award annually presented to the nation’s top interior lineman, but the former’s name was called at the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday evening. It was an outcome that suited the latter just fine, though, as he was happy for his teammate.

And besides, Jonah Williams has already won one award and could earn another this season.

On Wednesday, the Folsom, Calif., native was one of four Crimson Tide players to win an SEC individual award, of which there are seven, and Williams was the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. The often-times stoic left tackle smiled when asked about the league accolade.

“It means the world,” Williams said. “I mean, it’s a huge honor.

“It’s funny thinking back on my high school experience and everything like that. Being all the way out in California, I was going to each SEC team’s websites and looking up every person’s email I could find and just sending them my highlight tape and sending them a little letter I wrote talking about things I had done as far as weight room accomplishments and things like that.

“So, to be recognized as the best lineman in the SEC, it’s mind-blowing considering where I was only a few years ago. It’s exciting.” 

Alabama left tackle Jonah Williams (Photo: Joe Robbins, Getty)

Williams, who grew up a fan of the SEC, has certainly come a long way. 

Now 6-foot-5, 301 pounds, Williams was a 5-star recruit during the 2016 recruiting cycle, per the 247 Sports Composite. He was the No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 3 player in the state of California.

After starting from Day 1 as a true freshman in 2016, he is now a veteran presence on the Crimson Tide’s offensive line. Williams has started all 42 games during his Alabama career and has blocked for 20 100-yard rushing performances over his three standout seasons.

The junior anchors an Alabama offensive front that is one of three finalists for the Joe Moore Award and helps clear the way for a Tide offense that leads the SEC and is second nationally in scoring at 47.9 points per game. Alabama also leads the league and ranks No. 7 in the country in total offense, averaging 527.6 yards per game, which is on pace to shatter the school record.

Alabama is seventh in the country in passing offense at 325.5 yards per contest and ranks 10th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in sacks allowed at just 1.0 per game. By keeping quarterback Tua Tagovailoa upright most of the season, the Joe Moore Award is a definite possibility for Williams and his teammates. It would mark the second time the Tide has won the unique award.

The voting committee will announce the recipient of the 2018 Joe Moore after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December. Alabama won the inaugural award in 2015 — one season before Williams enrolled at UA. He hopes to win the school’s second soon.

“I think at the beginning of the season, that’s pretty much our goal,” Williams said. “As an O-lineman, you want to win the Joe Moore and you want to win the SEC Championship and the national championship, that’s our goals every year. We’re obviously in great company with Oklahoma and Georgia. We’re really proud that we’ve been able to put enough on tape as an offensive line to have us recognized as one of the best units.” 

Alabama already won the SEC title game, defeating Georgia by a score of 35-28 last weekend. Two of the three goals are still on the table, including a national title. The Tide will face No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 for an opportunity to play for another title.

Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports’ personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

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