ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The word “unique” is often used to describe University of New Mexico defensive lineman Johnny Williams.
“He’s a real dude,” said Lobos head football coach Bob Davie. Williams will be a 24-year old red-shirt junior once the 2016 season starts. Football is his first love but, Williams took a detour from the game out of high school. At the time, he was not a big fan of school and found himself working a pair of jobs and getting his sports fix as an MMA fighter.
Life intervened and changed his course. “I lost the two jobs I had and I couldn’t pay for my gym membership,” said Williams. “So I was like football is the way out. Football is my way back into school and everything.” Williams got back in the game at Mount San Jacinto College in California.
He was an American Conference Defensive Player of the Year before transferring to New Mexico. His MMA background continues to serve him well as Williams has found a way to use it on the football field. “The main thing that I take from MMA and I bring to the football field is leverage,” said Williams. “You need leverage to win at the point of contact. The lower man will win.”
Williams has also found a way to win with his teammates and that is through their stomachs. “He’s a great cook,” said coach Davie. “He is a culinary phenom from what they tell me.”
Williams said he has no aspirations to become a chef. He just likes breaking bread with teammates.
“Sunday is a big day. That’s like my family day,” said Williams. “I like to make food for my teammates and everybody, just throw it down for them so they have a good home cooked meal. That will bring us together more as a team.”