Athletics require individuals to step up when their number is called.
For University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point junior Jerry Williams, that number is being called, with increasing frequency, across two sports. He is responding by embracing prominent roles on both the track and football team.
Being a two-sport athlete comes with its own set of rigors, one of which is an extremely regimented schedule.
How does Williams make juggling classes, a pair of sports, and a personal life work?
“I have all of my classes in the morning just to get those done with, then after class, I try to fit in eating,” Williams, the Milwaukee native, said. “Then, probably a nap, and after that, I have to practice for two or three hours.”
But wait, there’s more.
William’s said “I have to work out for a given sport, and after all that, it’s probably seven at night. Then I’ll have to do homework. I use my Sundays to do nothing but sleep in.”
Sleeping isn’t advisable for those on the opposing side of Williams on the gridiron or on the track.
This past weekend, Williams excelled in the Pointer Invite, winning the long and triple jump events, respectively.
Additionally, Williams’ football career at UWSP began by studying notable Pointer wide receivers in recent years, such as Matt Sosinsky, Jared Pankow and Logan Taylor.
“I learned a lot from them, especially because I’ve been watching them for three years now,” Williams said. “Just learned things from them and tried to be like them.”
The patience and preparation have paid off for Williams, as the junior wideout received his most extensive playing time during the 2016 season.
Williams recorded 20 catches for 376 yards, with four touchdowns. He also proved deadly in the return game over the past two years, recording a touchdown on kick returns in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Williams has averaged 26.4 yards on kick returns in his UWSP career thus far.
Humble as ever, Williams shared a very important message for students and student-athletes alike.
“Make sure you’re ready. If you don’t use your time right, you’re going to be in a hole,” Williams said.
While succeeding in both sports, Williams still has his sights set on more.
“I’d like to become a national champ in the long jump or triple jump before I’m done,” Williams said. “I’d like to make it to the playoffs in football, and get a big trophy in track at nationals this year.”
If any of these goals are to happen, Williams’ number will continue to be called upon. Odds are that he’ll continue to respond as he has been thus far: hurdling expectations, and putting points on the board for UWSP.