Family the biggest reason Berrien Springs' Williams will play football at Notre Dame


Berrien Springs senior defensive end Jhonny Williams had the opportunity to play football in the SEC next year. He was already committed to Missouri.

Then came an offer from Notre Dame that Williams could not turn down.

The Berrien Springs senior announced on Wednesday that he will instead play football for Brian Kelly and the Irish next fall. The decision he says is all about family.

Williams' mom is a single parent and Jhonny has been the man of the house for quite some time. The Notre Dame offer gives him the opportunity to stay close to home.

"It was a really big family decision," Williams said Wednesday. "I support my family and I'm really close to my family and at this time right now, I don't think it's best for me to leave. Stability for them was more important than more own selfish desires."

"The other thing was the coaching and the players--I was really blown away by the acceptance."

Berrien Springs coach Bill Bergan couldn't be happier for Williams. Bergen says he's proud of the way Jhonny handled the situation and how he handled the switch from Missouri to Notre Dame.

"An awesome opportunity for him," Bergan explains. "He's worked hard to get where he's at. I think Notre Dame coming into the picture when he did was mind blowing to him as well."

Williams has played football for just two years. He's 6'5" and 240 pounds. While he's a defensive end in high school, he'll play outside linebacker for the Irish. Bergen says because of the size of Berrien Springs, they've been forced to play Williams on both offense and defense so Williams has not developed the way he otherwise would on the defensive side of the ball.

Bergan is convinced that Williams will blossom at Notre Dame once he's in a system where he's just focused on defense and learning the right techniques.

For Williams the situation just couldn't be more perfect.

"For me, I was just really blown away by the academics and the [average salary] that a graduate of Notre Dame would make," Williams says, thinking again of supporting his family. "It was really persuasive and put that with one of the winningiest football programs of all time, and it's a no-brainer."

Williams decision won't become official until National Signing Day in February.


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