WEST ROXBURY, Mass. - Like most high school football players, West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial offensive lineman Brennan Williams dreamed of playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. On Monday, he took one step closer to living that dream as he received his All American jersey at school in front of family, friends and his teammates.
"This is a great honor," said the 6-foot-6, 272-pounder following the presentation. "Catholic Memorial is known as a hockey school mostly in this region but over the last few years we've put football on the map and this is not only for me but for my teammates and my coaches. I'm proud to be honored by the Army and everyone involved with the game."
Williams, ranked as the No. 7 offensive guard by Rivals.com and a member of the Rivals250, was named to the East squad for many reasons. However, his versatility stands out amongst his peers.
"I feel I'm versatile and that is an advantage," he said. "I think they want me to play offensive tackle but knowing I can play guard or center gave me an edge I would imagine. I'm just happy to play wherever they need me and contribute to the team and most importantly represent the state of Massachusetts and Catholic Memorial."
Williams could also play on the defensive line if needed as he showed at the U.S. Army Junior All American Combine last January where he was named a standout by Rivals.com.
"Virginia wants me as a defensive lineman but the said they recruit their linemen to be able to play either way," he said. "Everyone else wants me as an offensive lineman. I don't really have a preference but I do think I'm further along as an offensive player. But I'll play whatever."
In addition to the Cavaliers, Williams is looking at North Carolina, Wake Forest and Boston College.
"Those are my final four," he said. "I've already taken official visits to Virginia and UNC and I have Wake Forest coming up on Nov. 21. I was supposed to take an official visit to BC this past weekend but I went on an unofficial instead. Because it was a night game and I had some things going on during the day they felt it wouldn't be a complete visit if I took it. So I'll probably visit BC in December when the season is over and then make my decision after that.
"I might wait until the U.S. Army game to announce my decision but if I know before then I will probably just commit and get it over with. I've enjoyed the process but it can get a little hectic with school and football going on at the same time."
Williams' father, Brent, was on hand to watch his son accept the coveted jersey. Brent played in the NFL for 11 years, eight of them with the New England Patriots. While Brennan is very close with his family, distance from home will not be a huge factor in his decision.
"It's all about fit," said Brent. "Brennan wants to be a graphic artist so we're trying to determine which school has the best program for him. Some of them have graphic arts under communications while others have it under computer science and others under journalism so we're trying to see which academic situation fits him the best. If it's close to home, that's great. But if it's away from Massachusetts then so be it. We want what's best for him."
And obviously Brent was very excited and proud to see his son accept the All American jersey at school on Monday.
"It's a thrill for me as a parent and I know how excited he is and I'm excited for him," he said. "He's worked so hard and he deserves this and we expect to have a great time down in San Antonio and I know Brennan will do the area and the school proud."