Lance Willams was sitting in history class when Alcoa High School assistant coach Justin Emert texted him. A student receiving a text during class doesn’t usually serve as a cause for celebration, but when Emert texted him that West Virginia offered him, that’s slightly different.
A 2023 offensive lineman from Alcoa High School in Alcoa, Tennessee, Williams wasn’t exactly shocked, but it was an ‘oh, dang!’ moment for him. It helped that WVU offensive line coach Matt Moore was crazy about him.
Standing at 6-foot-3, 315 pounds, Williams is well-built for a rising high school senior, but he’s got plenty left to give. Enough for Kentucky and South Carolina to both offer him. In-state Tennesse has shown interest in him, but there hasn’t been an offer extended yet.
Although, Williams has already experienced the infrequent WVU-Tennessee rivalry, being in attendance at Bank of America Stadium for the WVU-Tennesse game on Sept. 1, 2018. Current Carolina Panthers quarterback Will Grier and the WVU offense ran roughshod on Tennessee, racking up 40 points in a 40-14 victory.
While Williams admitted that WVU “beat the brakes off Tennessee,” he didn’t really watch how the points were scored. He was focused on the offensive line, only looking up when someone started yelling to see where the ball was heading.
Watching Grier and the fast-paced WVU offense, in addition to a WVU fanbase that left Williams speechless, left an impact upon him.
Three years later, WVU is reaching out to Williams. And WVU graduate assistant coach Jens Danielson has been the loudest voice. Williams said he’s received a lot of camp invitations through Twitter, with multiple WVU coaches reaching out, and he’s finally found a camp he’s suited for.
On June 23, Williams will visit Morgantown for the Big-Man Camp, and with his senior season upcoming, he’s going to look for official campus visitations. Williams said while he doesn’t have a WVU visit scheduled, he’d like to get to know the staff in Morgantown.
Williams thinks he could see himself playing for WVU, too. He said the offense does just about everything, so he’d have fun playing on the offensive line. A background in high school wrestling has prepared him for a life of working the offensive line.
“Definitely being able to use my hips, my aggressiveness, my cardio,” Williams said. “I think every football player should wrestle, and I’ve been doing it since I was four.”
Williams has wrestled and played football for Alcoa through his initial years of high school, and it’s served him well. It’s served in giving his game the edge that he feels WVU fans will appreciate,
“I think, personally, I play mean and aggressive,” Williams said. “I think [West Virginia] would like that. Being big and being fast is a big thing, too.”
With a year left until Williams is left to make a college decision, he’s enjoyed the recruitment process so far. With how hard he’s worked for it so far, it’s felt good. And now, he’s going to prove to WVU how hard he’s worked.