FOREST PARK — Brandon “Magic” Williams had a career worthy of a college scholarship.
But when your high school career consists of playing for a football program that had a combined 5-35 record over the last four years, there is a good chance you could be overlooked.
Such was the case for the senior running back/linebacker. There was no doubt Williams could probably play college football on some level, but there was no interest from college coaches.
In stepped incoming Forest Park coach Reginald Austin to help Williams realize his dream of playing college football.
Austin, a former NFL player, sent out film and made countless calls to various contacts to help Williams.
The three-sport standout will get the opportunity to play college football after signing a scholarship with Tusculum, a NCAA Div. II school in Greenville, Tenn. The Pioneers play in the South Atlantic Conference.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to play on the next level,” Williams said. “I get a chance to play with the best of the high school players on the next level. I want to get better and hopefully make it to the NFL. I know I will get more knowledge and understanding of the game on the college level.”
A versatile athlete, Williams has been a standout on the football, basketball and track and field teams at Forest Park. In addition, he carries a 3.1 grade-point average. This past football season, Williams rushed for 384 yards on 58 carries while catching 20 passes for 253 yards. He had a combined six touchdowns on offense.
On defense, Williams had 56 tackles and three tackles for loss for the Panthers, who were 2-8 on the season.
For his career, Williams rushed for 862 yards and had 515 receiving yards with seven touchdowns. He finished his career with 147 tackles, including 13 tackles for losses.
As a starter on the basketball team, Williams has averaged nine points per game over his career. He reached the state meet in the high jump last track and field season.
“Brandon was the first person I met when I came over to Forest Park,” Austin said. “He really stood out from the film I saw on the team. After meeting with him, I immediately went to work to see what I could do for him.”
Williams had a choice between Avila University, a NAIA school in Missouri and Tusculum.
“The package that I got at Tusculum was a little more,” Williams said. “I’m going to either play fullback or linebacker in college. It really doesn’t matter to me. I just want the opportunity to play.”