Le Grand High receiver burns his opponents with his big-play ability

Le Grand High receiver calmly burns opponents

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comSeptember 11, 2013 

— You won't see a change in Christian Williams' demeanor as he breaks the Le Grand High offensive huddle after finding out the football is coming his way.

His heart rate doesn't increase.

He doesn't get wide-eyed.

The Bulldog junior just calmly makes his way to his receiver position.

"It's just another play," Williams said.

It's rarely "just another play" when Williams gets his hands on the ball. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Williams is a big play waiting to happen.

"He's deceivingly dynamic," said Livingston head coach Chris Lacey, who will try to slow down Williams when his Wolves (1-1) host Le Grand (2-0) on Friday night.

"You don't expect him to be as fast as he is just by looking at him. That guy is a playmaker."

Williams' big-play ability played a huge role in Le Grand's section title run last season.

As a sophomore, Williams caught 30 passes for 681 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged over 22 yards per catch.

He added five more touchdowns on defense and special teams combined as he averaged more than 33 yards on kickoff returns and 22 yards on punt returns.

"He has quickness and awareness," Le Grand head coach Rick Martinez said. "He knows how to find the hole on the field. It's just natural. He's elusive. It's one of those things you can't coach.

"Look at the play he made in the game at Golden Sierra last year. He had one reception for 60 or 70 yards at a crucial moment. Big-play players like that can change the momentum of a game."

The Bulldogs were trailing 15-10 in the fourth quarter before Williams took a short pass and turned it into a 70-yard touchdown early to give the Bulldogs an 18-15 lead.

Williams has already made an impact this year.

With starting running back Ryan Martinez injured in the season opener, Williams filled in at running back and rushed for 196 yards and four touchdowns on just 13 carries in Le Grand's 50-6 win over Orestimba.

Last week against Berrian Christian, Williams moved back to receiver and caught three passes for 133 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown.

How do the big plays happen?

"It all starts with the offensive line," Williams said. "They have to block to give the quarterback time. If he gets time he can get the ball to me.

"As soon as I catch it, I'm thinking get as many yards as I can. I want to get down field."

Williams' long touchdown against Berrian Christian came on a simple out route.

As soon as Williams caught the ball his instincts took over as he reacted to the defenders.

"I caught the ball around the 33-yard line," Williams said. "The ball was a little behind me so I had to come back to get it. As soon as I caught the ball, I saw the safety coming up on me fast. I had to put a move on him.

"I was able to get away from him and the corner. The only one left was the corner on the other side and I just outran him to the end zone."

In other words, it was just another play.

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or sjansen@mercedsunstar.com.

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