Future Gopher Maxx Williams (15) shakes a host of Orono defenders.
Maxx Williams, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior from Waconia who committed to Minnesota in February, was named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State team that was honored at halftime of their game versus New Orleans. Williams is a versatile player who plays quarterback, tight end, linebacker and punter for the Wildcats. GopherHole.com caught up Williams to learn the latest on his senior season, graduating early and his Gopher future.
Williams led the Wildcats to a 5-5 mark this past season, losing to Mankato West 44-28 for the second straight year in the second round of the Section 2AAAA playoffs. Williams completed 37 of 77 passes for 784 yards and eight touchdowns. He rushed 120 times for 902 yards and 13 scores.
Williams led the team with 80 tackles and had two interceptions for 25 yards.
Williams comes from an athletic family. His father, Brian Williams, played college football at Minnesota and was drafted in the first round (18th overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He played for them from 1989 to 1999.
His grandfather, Robert Williams, was a former quarterback at Notre Dame who was drafted by Chicago in the 1959 NFL Draft.
His mother, Rochelle, was a volleyball player at Minnesota and his uncle, Ron, played football at Minnesota and was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 12th round of the 1990 NFL Draft. He played two seasons for Barcelona in the World League.
GH: Obviously, you had a great year and were named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State team. I know that you would have liked to have gotten a few more wins, but you have to be pleased with your senior season.
Maxx Williams: Yes, it was a good year. Injuries kind of hurt me in the beginning of the year and we had some injuries early with our team, but we came together in the end. We made some adjustments with the O-line and switched some guys. Towards the end of the year, we started to come together as a team and winning some games until we ran into Philip Nelson of Mankato West. How do you stop him? We were rolling until we got to him. We played them tough. Can’t complain about losing to Philip. He’s a great player.
GH: Is it nice to know that you are not going to have to play against him anymore? You are going to be playing with him, which has to be nice.
Maxx Williams: It is always nice when Philip is going to be on your team. He is a hell of a player and I can’t wait to be with him. He finally won’t be able to beat me anymore.
GH: What was the experience of being named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State team and being honored at halftime like?
Maxx Williams: It was great. I never thought I would make this team, even an All-State team, being a quarterback and not really playing one position and being a linebacker. I was just having fun. I was really honored when I found out Monday that I made the All-State team with the Vikings and it was great.
GH: What was it like to have your family there and also see a lot of players that you grew up playing against and watching?
Maxx Williams: It was great to have my family here to see me out there because I know that all these players out there with me are going to go on and play in college. Some of them will be my teammates, some of them wouldn’t. I’ll be playing some of them. I know Jonathan Harden (who is going to Western Michigan) and that we will play them in the second week next year, so it is nice to see the guys who I got recruited with.
GH: What are you going to be working on now that the season is over?
Maxx Williams: I just have to get faster and stronger. Just start really getting focused on that. Be ready to get in there and learn the system and try to play as a freshman.
GH: Do you have anything planned for signing day? Are you doing anything at home or at the school?
Maxx Williams: I think that I am just going to sign at my school and probably go out with my family that night and eat and have a little party with my family and my grandparents. Just keep it like a family thing. Low keyed and just celebrate.
GH: How nice will it be to sign with Minnesota? You have a lot of ties with your father playing there. How special will that be?
Maxx Williams: With my mom, my dad and my uncle. My grandpa was there for a year. I’ll be a part of Minnesota. It is going to be a special moment when I sign, just knowing that I will be with them and a part of that. I know that if I would have committed somewhere else, it would have been hard for them to see me sign that piece of paper. It is going to be a special moment.
GH: When are you finishing up school?
Maxx Williams: Sometime in March. I am not going to be down at the “U” early like Philip and Mitch. I am just going down, so I can attend meetings and focus all my time in getting ready to get down to the “U,” so I can be ready to try to get in as a freshman as soon as I can and get out there and play.
GH: How much extra work did you have to do to get all the academic stuff done in time?
Maxx Williams: It was not bad. I had to switch my schedule around and have some more required classes in my second trimester, so it is a little harder the first couple of tris in school, but getting them out of the way as long as you study hard, it’s not too bad. I don’t have a sport in the winter, so I can study hard and get it done with.
GH: So you will graduate in March and enroll in June, but hang around the program?
Maxx Williams: I will take that time to get all the programs. See the guys. See how spring practice goes. Maybe sit in on a meeting if I am allowed to do that. Really focus on running hard and start conditioning as hard as I can and lifting hard. Doing everything possible I can to be ready to get down there.
GH: Had you even thought about trying to graduate in December or would that just be too hard to do?
Maxx Williams: It would have been too hard to do. I would have had to take summer school classes and some online, just so I could have enough credits by time. I knew that going into my senior season, I didn’t want to worry about that. I just wanted to focus my time and getting my school work, so I could play the best I could be this season. It worked out. I’m happy with how things have gone so far.