Williams Hopes to Follow in Former Bolts’ Paths
September 25, 2012Northmont High School Football
By Eric Frantz
Dayton Daily News
The pipeline from Northmont High School’s defensive backfield to Ohio State’s football program has become lucrative the past decade.
The rich might get richer.
“Ohio State,” Northmont junior Isaiah Williams said when asked to tab his dream school. “It’s part of the tradition of this school. I want to follow in their footsteps.”
They are Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman and Ohio State safety C.J. Barnett. He is Isaiah Williams. Next in line?
“The potential is there,” Northmont head coach Lance Schneider said. “He’s the package everybody wants.”
Williams makes great first impressions.
The T-Bolts standout wide receiver and kick returner enters Week 6 with just three career starts at safety. His stat line is already better than most will have for a season: three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 18 tackles.
“(Offensive coordinator) Tony Broering mentioned we ought to give him a shot (on defense),” Schneider said. “It’s probably something we should have done a long time ago.”
A Week 2 loss at Westerville South and an 0-2 start forced Schneider’s hand. Northmont needed more athleticism in its secondary. Williams was the answer.
In his first start (a 17-14 loss to Lakota East), Williams had 10 tackles and an interception. His second start (a 58-16 defeat of Fairborn) produced two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
“He’s a good receiver, but he’s not quite the impact guy there that he is at safety,” Schneider said. “Receivers by nature don’t want to stick their noses in there (on defense), but that’s not the case with him at all. We knew contact wasn’t going to be an issue. He’s not afraid to mix it up.”
Williams wreaks versatility.
An accomplished basketball player, he played baseball until last spring when he opted for track. Picking up high jump two weeks before the postseason, Williams made it to the Division I state meet.
“I came out for track because of football and (high jump) was new,” Williams said. “It came natural.”
That theme is common; Williams is not.
“CJ was always a corner for us, so people could go away from him, but in regards to making plays (Isaiah’s) very similar to Kurt in the fact that (at Fairborn) there were several throws that as soon as they were thrown, I knew that’s where Isaiah was and I knew he was going to get them,” Schneider said. “That’s always the way it was with Kurt.”
Williams wants to follow the same route as Coleman and Barnett – one that leads east on Interstate 70 to OSU. Coleman was an All-American for the Buckeyes. Barnett, a junior, was All-Big Ten last year after leading OSU in tackles (75).
“It’s an honor,” Williams said. “They had a lot of talent. Kurt made it to the NFL. CJ is at O-State right now. It’s a big deal to be mentioned as a top player coming from this area and team knowing the tradition that’s been here in the past.”
Said Schneider: “The funniest story about Kurt was back when Alex Early was the quarterback at Wayne and (Warriors head coach) Jay Minton – at the all-league meeting — said “Lets put it this way — I told Alex going into that week that if you throw the ball in (Kurt’s) area, you’re standing next to me for the rest of the game.’
“I hope Isaiah gets that respect from people down the road and they start going away from him. He’s that kind of kid.”