By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

ELKHART – On Friday, Feb. 3, Elkhart Elk D.J. Williams signed a National Letter of Intent to take his prowess on the football field to Howard Payne University.

After he had inked his name, Williams said he felt a great sense of relief.

“I really liked the university. I felt right at home. It is a good place and it has a beautiful campus. The coaches made me very comfortable,” he said.

“At first, my mom was kind of like ‘I don’t know about this whole signing thing,’ because she goes a little crazy (with worry) when I played football here. But now, she thinks I should go,” he added.

When asked what he would tell his former teammates about moving to the next level, Williams paused for a moment.

“I would tell them to just work hard and play every game like it’s your last one and give it all you got. With everything in life, whatever you want, don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be achieved. I have had people tell me I couldn’t do this, but I did. Just work hard and get what you want out of life,” he said.

When he first started playing football, Williams said he never considered an athletic scholarship to attend college and play football.

“I really started playing because all my friends were playing. I saw everyone else around me doing this so I figured why not?”  Williams said.

As he finished up the signing process, Williams was asked about his favorite memory of playing football in Elkhart.

“It was a game against Eustace,” he recalled. “We were own early, but we came back. I saw us play together and it felt bigger than the sport. It was alike a brotherhood. It was like me and my brothers just battling. It felt good.”

Elkhart AD Sam Wells added he was extremely proud of Williams.

“His production on the field was tremendous both this year and throughout his career. Obviously his academics were way up as well. That helped him tremendously. He got humongous scholarship money because of his SAT score. He is truly a student/athlete,” Wells said.

“His work ethic is also tremendous. It is on par with any great player I have ever coached. He is ready and he will be ready to be successful,” Wells added.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at