FAIRFIELD — Carrying a grade-point average better than 4.0 will get you into most any college you want to go, but Keith Williams Jr. also has a little skill on the gridiron to add to his resume.
That skill as well as his academic prowess helped the former Fairfield High quarterback earn a scholarship to the University of San Diego.
Williams signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, concluding a process that began after the fifth game of the season and spanned parts of six months.
The 2012 season went pretty well for Williams, who led McClymonds High of Oakland to an Oakland Section championship and into the Northern California title game in Division IV.
After the Week 5 game against Kennedy of Richmond, Williams first got word that San Diego was looking at him.
“They had just seen some of my film on the internet and gave me a call,” he said. “It was really exciting. It made me feel good that I pretty much knew I was going midseason. I knew what I was performing for.”
After some back and forth, Williams said he got the scholarship offer two months after he initially heard from Toreros coaches.
There were other schools in the running, including Humboldt State and Lewis and Clark, which is currently the home of another former Falcon – quarterback Keith Welch Jr.
But San Diego won out in a big way, Williams said.
“It was just a beautiful area. I just fell in love with the coaches and fell in love with the program,” he said. “I love the weather. The weather was the biggie. The weather and the location, and I knew I was going to get a good education there.”
A lot is up in the air with USD football as the Toreros undergo a coaching change.
Dale Lindsey, previously the defensive coordinator, was introduced in late December as the new head coach after Ron Caragher was hired at San Jose State.
So, Williams said the depth chart will be determined this summer.
“I’m going down there in June and the competition is from there,” he said.
That will be an exciting time for Williams, who still lives in Fairfield.
“I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates and learning the playbook,” he said. “I’d love to get down there learn the playbook early in June and get ready for school.”
Williams, who posted a 4.1 GPA last semester, plans to study business management.
“They have one of the top 20 business schools in the nation, so it works out,” he said.
Maintaining such high academic standards and keeping up his football skills isn’t easy, but it’s well worth it, Williams said.
“It’s just getting in the gym and just working out and be the best person you can be at football and in the classroom,” he said. “When everyone else is out partying, you have to be disciplined enough to go to gym, then be in class and go to the film room to learn more about the defense.”
Williams said his parents Keith Sr. and Eva Johnson are both very happy.
“They played a really big part in this. I couldn’t give enough credit to my parents,” Keith Jr. said.
As for how he ended up at McClymonds, Williams said he transferred when the Fairfield-Suisun School District again flirted with eliminating athletics because of budget constraints last year.
“My parents are working there (in Oakland) so it was only natural,” he said. “When they shut sports down in Fairfield, it was the easiest transition for me.”
Both parents work within blocks of the school.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.