Clemson offensive line commit John Williams showed his toughness last fall, when he suffered a labrum tear in mid-October but played through injury the rest of the season, helping lead his Canton (Ga.) Creekview team to a 12-1 record, its first region title and deepest playoff run in school history.
Seven months after the injury, Williams is feeling close to 100 percent healthy and can’t wait to get back in action. He wasn’t able to play in Creekview’s spring game but will be full go for the start of his senior season.
“I’m past ready to be on the field,” Williams told TCI recently. “It’s been a different experience, that’s for sure. This is the first injury I’ve ever had and the spring game was the first football game I’ve ever missed. It’s hard standing on the sidelines knowing there is no way you can go in and help your team.”
Williams is five months removed from surgery and will be cleared for contact Aug. 1.
Asked how his shoulder is feeling, Williams replied, “Great. Still a little tender but only with pulling-type movements. Just trying to get my strength back now.”
Williams will be with his team to start summer practice and believes he’ll be back to 100-percent by mid-July. In the meantime, he is still working to build up strength in his shoulder and doing physical therapy once a week as well.
“We added weight training last week,” he said. “Right now lots of reps with light weight using techniques and equipment that don’t put a lot of pressure on the labrum, focusing on building up stamina. We are still using pain as a guide but my doc says I will really notice a difference over the next month or so with that.”
Williams became Clemson’s first O-line commit last September, and he is part of the Tigers’ special 2020 class that is not only extremely talented on the field, but a very tight-knit group off it.
“We all just clicked,” he said. “You’d think we were already practicing and playing together,” he said. “We talk all the time. Just have a few missing pieces to fill. I cannot wait to get started.”
Williams will return to Clemson for the annual All In Cookout in late July.
“I cannot wait to be back on campus and see the coaches and hang out with the guys,” he said.