Joe Davidson

Folsom’s Williams declares for NFL Draft; will he be area’s highest-picked prospect?

Alabama’s Jonah Williams issues friendly warning to pal Jake Browning from Washington

Alabama's Jonah Williams shares his thoughts about Washington's Jake Browning, a good friend from their days at Folsom High School, who must face a fierce 'Bama defense: "He's a pretty level-headed guy, but there's a storm coming."
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Alabama's Jonah Williams shares his thoughts about Washington's Jake Browning, a good friend from their days at Folsom High School, who must face a fierce 'Bama defense: "He's a pretty level-headed guy, but there's a storm coming."

Bouncing around the football regions in a forward lean ...

Jonah time

When Jonah Williams was in high school, it was common for Folsom football coaches to stop practice for the sheer sake of humanity.

There, in front of them, were often a pile of bodies laid out, like something out of a cartoon scene. Only Williams would be left standing from these scrimmage scrums.

Folsom coaches Kris Richardson and Troy Taylor would halt the action and declare, “Jonah! You have to take it easy on our guys. You’re killing them.”

Williams knew only one speed and one degree of ferocity then, and now, and he continues to conquer all comers. After two stellar seasons at Folsom and three at Alabama, the 6-foot-5, 301-pound tackle is ready to throw his weight around at the highest level of competition.

On Friday, Williams declared he will forgo his senior season of college to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Per his good nature, he thanked everyone involved in the process, from family to coaches to trainers to staff.

Williams is NFL ready, and he’s poised to make regional history in his latest quest. A projected top-5 pick, Williams could become the highest drafted NFL regional prospect.

Defensive end Reggie Rogers of Norte Del Rio in Del Paso Heights went seventh overall to the Detroit Lions out of Washington in 1987. The highest drafted offensive lineman from this area is Gordon King out of Bella Vista and Stanford, who was selected 10th by the New York Giants in 1978.

Montgomery stays

Taylor, Sacramento State’s newly appointed football coach, has retained James Montgomery as running backs coach.

This fall will be Montgomery’s sixth season on the staff. The former Cordova High star tailback helped groom Elijah Dotson of Antelope fame to a first-team Big Sky Conference honor last fall. As a sophomore, Dotson rushed for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns.

With the return of quarterback Kevin Thomson, the Hornets figure to compete right away under Taylor after an injury-plagued 2018 season resulted in a 2-8 record.

Trio of coaches

There are a number of high school football coaching vacancies, including plum gigs at Folsom, Cosumnes Oaks and Christian Brothers, and any discussion of new hires should include Josh Crabtree, Paul Doherty and Chris Nixon, each a proven leader with personality and results.

Crabtree produced competitive teams at Sheldon and helped players accept Division I scholarships while urging them to be good students and citizens, and then he logged several seasons as an assistant at American River College, a national powerhouse.

Doherty led Sacramento High to record success and had a stop at Whitney before coaching this past season at Folsom, which benefited from his strength and conditioning program.

Nixon has long been known as an offensive guru, and his Elk Grove teams earlier this decade were among the best in Northern California. All three should be head coaches this fall.

Stone’s throw

Stone Smartt, the one-time Del Oro All-Metro quarterback, was named the California Community College Football Coaches Association Offensive Player of the Year.

The 6-5, 220-pound sophomore led Riverside to an 11-1 record and final state ranking of No. 3 by passing for 31 touchdowns and rushing for nine. Smartt has signed with Old Dominion. He’s further proof the JC route does indeed pay off.

All-American notice

Also making the JC All-American team were all-purpose player Ryan Graham of Sierra College and Lincoln High and DeShawn Collins of Grant roots and City College of San Francisco at utility. Collins has signed with Cal to play running back.

Will Brocchini of Sierra out of Whitney was a repeat All-American at cornerback. He has signed with Old Dominion after making 24 career JC interceptions.

Kickoff return specialist Jalen Lampley of San Mateo by way of Franklin High also earned a first-team honor.

California has 68 community colleges and the rest of the country has 65, so making this team is a big deal.

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