It wasn't the kind of start Ferriday's Ronald Williams expected or wanted at the University of Alabama his first year as a junior college transfer. But the end result certainly made it all worthwhile.
Williams, a first-team All-American defensive back at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas last year, signed with Alabama in December, 2019.
Williams received a visit in his Ferriday home from Alabama head coach Nick Saban before signing with the Tide.
Williams was set to show what he could do in Alabama's spring practices before the workouts and spring game were canceled because of COVID-19.
"This was going to be my time to gel," Williams said. "I was ready to go in and learn the system. I was going to get into a groove. But I just have to find a way around it."
And then a week before the season-opener on September 26 at Missouri, Williams suffered a broken arm in practice.
"It was tough, but everything happens for a reason," Williams said.Williams went through rehabilitation and returned on October 17 in Alabama's 41-24 win over Georgia.
Williams posted his first tackle against Mississippi State in a 41-0 Crimson Tide win.
Alabama rolled through the regular season before defeating Notre Dame 31-14 in the semifinals, and then Ohio State 52-24 in the national championship game.
"It feels great winning a national championship," Williams said. "We knew what we had to do going into the game. We knew they had good players on their side. We knew everything would not always go our way, so we had to have everyone doing their job and keep working hard thought the game."
Williams did not see action in the title game.
"My time is definitely coming," he said. "I just need to continue doing everything I need to do to be the best player I can be."
Williams said the Tide begin strength and conditioning "fourth quarter" workouts in two weeks.
"It's all about me learning the game more and being the best I can be," he said.
Williams said he enjoys playing for Nick Saban.
"He's one of the best to ever do it," he said. "He's just a regular person. He's not like everyone thinks he is. He's going to get on you like other coaches. He is making you a better player and person. He's the best to ever do it."
Williams, who is majoring in Kinesiology, has earned Academic Student-Athlete of the Month twice at Alabama.
Williams was an All-American at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.
Williams said the decision to sign with Alabama was a tough one.
"I considered Kentucky, Texas A&M and Mississippi State," Williams said. "LSU contacted me, but really wasn't showing that much love."
Williams did not envision being at Hutchinson once he graduated from Ferriday High in 2017 where his senior year at quarterback he completed 125 of 276 passes for 1,868 yards and 21 touchdowns with 17 interceptions during his time at Ferriday. He rushed for 757 yards on 101 carries and nine touchdowns.
"I was supposed to go to South Alabama, but I ended up missing my (ACT) test," Williams said.
Hutchinson associate head coach Alfred Lewis, who was born in Ferriday before moving at the age of 12, reached out to Williams.
"He told me to come up and walk on and I could get a scholarship by spring," Williams said. "And that's what happened."
Williams said his goal is to get more playing time. He doesn't even think about the NFL Draft.
"There's players coming in who are just as good or better," Williams said "I just have to make myself better. It's all about who work the hardest, who is the most consistent, and who Coach trusts the most."