Jameson Williams is still on his way back from an ACL injury. This path might be shorter than expected.
Williams spoke to NFL Network’s James Palmer on Alabama’s pro day on Wednesday and revealed he was ahead of schedule.
“Right now I’m about 10 weeks into surgery, the timeframe I was getting was about 5-7 months, and I’m ahead of schedule, so with me at 10 weeks, we just have a lot of movement, lots of good practices,” Williams told Palmer. “I’m in the pool and stuff, a light jog, really starting to do high knees, butt kicks and things like that, just getting back into the moves. All good so far, with me being so far and so far in the process, and it’s not that far, it’s just the beginning, so I think I’d say it’s been good so far.”
Most important for the receiver’s draft stock is the end of that timeline, with training camp a key target. If a team is going to spend a first-round pick on Williams, they would logically like to have him in time for the start of the season, although that shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
Williams thinks he’s heading towards that goal, with one key caveat: only if he’s completely ready to go.
“Oh yeah sure that’s what I’m aiming for, but what’s more important is that I make sure I’m 100 per cent before I do anything,” Williams said. “So that would be my schedule, but I’m just going to make sure everything is 100 before I come back and everything, just so I can be right for sure.”
Williams’ story is one of the early success stories of college football’s first steps into the transfer portal era. Williams couldn’t break through the starting receiving duo while at Ohio State, spending much of his time there stuck behind Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson – two other first-round prospects during the April draft – so he packed up and left Columbus for Tuscaloosa. . There, he teamed with John Metchie to form their own explosive receiving duo and propelled himself onto draft boards before a torn ACL forced him out of the College Football Playoff National Championship.
The injury also threw him back into the familiar uncertainty he experienced with the Buckeyes. Still, most see Williams’ lone breakout season at Alabama as enough evidence to take him into the first two rounds. After Williams was unable to participate in the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine — a practice in which his former Ohio State teammates played — one question lingers: just how badly will Williams, a player who doesn’t couldn’t beat Olave and Wilson, compared to sides in the same draft class?
Williams said he hasn’t heard much about his current standing among NFL talent evaluators, who have instead spent much of their time getting updates on his rehab. But like his move from Ohio State to Alabama, Williams is used to dismissing outside doubt.
“I really didn’t focus on that,” Williams said of his projected draft position. “I focused on my leg, so I’m sorting it all out, just trying to do well and get back to playing, really.”