Popular teammate from Down Under

Popular teammate from Down Under

His family can't get enough of him. Alabama fans can't get enough of him. Even his teammates can't get enough of him. Defensive lineman and Australian native Jesse Williams is becoming pretty popular in Tuscaloosa.


With an accent that would have put the crocodile hunter to shame, Williams has quickly become a sensation for more than just his skills on the field. Offensive lineman William Vlachos talked about his experience with Williams and getting adjusted to his ways from down under.

"Somebody coming from a different place like that, you'd think they'd be kind of odd," said Vlachos. "[But] he's about as down-to-earth and normal and as cool of a dude as you could ever be around."

However, Vlachos had other opinions about another "foreign" teammate that arrived at the University of Alabama years ago.

"When Greg [McElroy] got here, Greg was really different," joked Vlachos of the Texan. "Greg kind of adjusted to act like us, but he was weird here at first. He was, but sometimes people coming from other places are kind of weird. But [Jesse] is the guy you want to go to dinner with right now. He is one of the coolest, most chill people that you could be around."

During last week's game at Penn State, fellow defensive lineman Damion Square used Williams' lack of American history knowledge to get a laugh.

"[We were] staying in Pennsylvania," said Square. "We were at the hotel and we were joking about the hotel. I told him, ‘Jesse, you know this is the hotel where Martin Luther King got assassinated?' And he said, ‘Oh, really!'"

Aside from the obvious love from his teammates, Williams also has the complete support of his family and friends from Australia. From his home front, 16 of his closest friends and family members made the trip to Tuscaloosa to watch Williams play for the very first time in the season opener.

"Grandparents, parents, friends, aunties, and uncles [came to the game]," said Williams. "There were a whole bunch of them. The 16 with crazy accents around Tuscaloosa, that was my family. [Two weeks ago] was the first time that they have seen me play and in front of 100,000 people going nuts. It was fun. I think that they thought [Americans] were nuts before. Now, it's a bit more serious. They were blown away by everything."

Williams said his Australian friends and family are now donning crimson and white.

"I'm pretty sure I have taken them to every single store in Tuscaloosa that sells anything University of Alabama, and they bought everything," smiled Williams.

With so much support now, Williams has found his place in Tuscaloosa among the rest of the Tide and, although he may not know anything about Martin Luther King or hotels, he does know how to make hits and read offenses no matter where they're from. Williams will play on Saturday against North Texas.

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