'Whenever you have to leave Clemson, it is going to be hard'
Garrett Williams will run down the Hill as a senior Saturday prior to second-ranked Clemson’s game against Duke.
It is fitting Williams, who has already graduated, will run down as a senior and on Military Appreciation Day at Death Valley considering how much he means to this year senior class and given his family’s military heritage.
Garrett told the media on Tuesday he is contemplating making this his final season at Clemson and will leave football for a career in the Marine Corps. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end has one more season of eligibility remaining after this season.
“At this point I am not hundred percent sure, but talking with Coach (Dabo) Swinney, he was just saying even if it was a consideration of mine to leave, he wanted to give me the opportunity to walk on Senior Day and get to experience that just in case,” Williams said.
Williams, a redshirt junior, has not set a timetable on when he is going to make a decision. Right now, his focus in on Duke. After that he will focus on South Carolina and then the ACC Championship Game.
“I don’t have to make a decision right now, whether I am going to come back next year or not,” he said. “I’m thankful that I can really be in the moment and appreciate each day and each game.
“I love this place with all of my heart, so if I did make a decision to leave, that would be a tough decision to make. I hope I can follow God’s Will for my life. That is always what I try to do. I’m going to follow whatever he tells me to do. Whenever he tells me to make that decision, I will make that decision.”
This year, Williams has started eight of the 10 games for the Tigers, while playing the H-back/tight end position. He scored his first career touchdown at Florida State, where his dad, Dayne, was a star fullback for Bobby Bowden from 1986-’89.
Williams played as a true freshman and was the starting H-back for the Tigers when they won the national championship in 2016. However, he had a set back the spring of 2017 when he tore his ACL during the last week of spring practice.
The tight end tried to come back in the middle of the season, but he just was not ready, so he used a medical redshirt to get the lost year back.
“Since I got hurt, I have kind of gone back and forth on what I want to do. I know there are positives to both,” Williams said.
Williams two grandfathers inspired him to consider a career in the military. One grandfather was in the Navy and the other was a Marine. The Clemson tight end has aspirations of being an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.
Williams’ decision to leave a year early is so up in the air, he isn’t sure if winning a second national championship will help it enough for him to leave Clemson a year early.
“I don’t know, honestly. That would be my answer to that,” he said. “That would sure be awesome, though. I would love that. I don’t know if it would make the decision any easier or harder.
“Whenever you have to leave Clemson, it is going to be hard. I have had such a great experience here my four years here. It is going to be hard to leave. I hope we get to hoist that big trophy up.”