Keontae Williams is one of the best players from the Tampa, Florida area in the Class of 2025.
The 5-foot-6, 147-pound Williams, who attends Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, is a versatile player that works as a tight end, running back and on the defensive line.
Williams has played for these teams so far: Northeast Bandits and Azalea Bulldogs.
Williams has earned plenty of recognition during his outstanding youth football career such as: Offensive MVP and being on the No. 1 nationally ranked 7-on-7 team in the nation.
Williams is humbled by the opportunity to showcase his skills.
“The recognition of those awards and all-star events means a lot to me because of accomplishing goals and setting the bar to work even harder,” Williams said. “It was a great experience to participate in such events and there was a lot of teaching moments.”
No matter the opponent, on each snap Williams is determined to give it his all.
Williams is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Williams steps between the lines.
“My mindset is that my team is counting on me so I need to do my job and make a play,” Williams said. “I want to always be in attack mode and make my opponent have to grind for anything they get.”
Williams has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the gridiron. Williams tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“The thing I love most about playing football is hitting people and being able to have a brotherhood,” Williams said. “I love to make big plays and make everyone in the crowd cheer and clap.”
Williams has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Football has taught me so much about life,” Williams said. “Playing has taught me to always be disciplined and respectful at all times on and off the field. Also to respect your elders.”
Williams recalls his favorite football memory.
“My favorite memory is shutting down one of the best athletes in the Bay area this spring,” Williams said. “It made me feel really great to play that good and make plays for my team.”
Dontae Thomas is in his second season coaching Williams with the Northeast Bandits organization and Gladden Park.
Thomas explains the best parts of Williams’ game.
“The best part of his game is that he has nice size with speed. He is also very physical and willing to be coached,” Thomas said. “What I like most about Keontae’s technique at each position is that when he’s at tight end or running back he understands how to adjust to the block based on the runner’s vision. When running the ball he understands down and distance. When he’s on the defensive line he knows how and when to use his tools based on the offensive line’s mentality.”
Williams takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Williams makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I demonstrate being a good teammate by being a leader and not a follower. Always lifting up my teammates,” Williams said. “The best advice I have given my teammates is to keep your head up.”
Thomas adds that Williams is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.
“Keontae demonstrates leadership by uplifting his teammates and being able to be coached up when necessary while having a positive attitude about it,” Thomas said.
Williams is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“My coaches have helped make me a better player and person,” Williams said. “I have learned from my coaches that it’s not always about winning, it’s about where you go in life. The best advice I have learned from my coaches is to keep my grades up.”
Thomas is an advocate of Williams’ capabilities.
“In the jamboree he caught a pass and ran for 50 yards to score a touchdown. In the spring vs. Pinellas Park he broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown,” Thomas said. “He is very vital to the success of our team.”
In addition to making clutch plays, Williams also has a high level of football IQ as well.
Williams has excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.
“His football IQ is a huge factor in his game. He understands offensive formations and calls out the plays before they even happen,” Thomas said. “When he’s in the backfield he understands the down and distance and is willing to give his all to make it happen.”
Williams is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.
“Keontae has a heck of a work ethic. He wants to play football year round whether it’s 7-on-7 or tackle to better his craft,” Thomas said. “Keontae trains very hard during the offseason and participates in many camps to compete with the best of the best.”
Thomas explains why he compares Williams to this player.
“He reminds me of Jerome Bettis because he’s big and powerful and his speed is underestimated,” Thomas said. “He has had plenty of runs where he’s off to the races and the defense is lost for words, having to adjust their game plan.”
Meanwhile, Williams patterns his play after this standout.
“I look up to Adrian Peterson,” Williams said. “Because he accomplished a lot of great things in life and he never stopped working.”
Williams is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.
“My goals for on the field are to make plays for my team and my goals for off the field are to always do the right thing,” Williams said. “I want to make my family proud of me in all that I do.”
Before the pros, Williams dreams of being the next great Ohio State Buckeye.
“They have a great football tradition and the best coaches,” Williams said. “I would love to play there and learn from the coaches so I can play in the NFL.”
Williams lists math as his favorite subject in school.
“I really like to work with numbers,” Williams said. “It’s a very fun and interesting subject to me.”
Thomas outlines the next areas of improvement for Williams.
“Some areas of improvement that I’m working with him on is his speed,” Thomas said. “He has very good speed as a big kid. However, he is determined to take it to the next level. He understands that effort and dedication are the keys.”
Thomas believes the sky is the limit as long as Williams continues to stay hungry.
“Keontae has such special potential to play football at a high level and have a great career,” Thomas said. “He has the drive and determination to make all of his dreams come true.”
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