Chase Williams from St. Albans High School shocked the DMV on signing day when he signed his Letter of Intent to attend Elizabeth City State University an Historically Black College in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Williams had scholarship opportunities at UNC Charlotte and several Ivy League Institutions yet decided to take his talents to an HBCU.
Williams, an accomplished Quarterback in the DC Metropolitan area who earned First Team All-conference Honors and All Met Honorable Mention this past season. His team won the WCAC Championship his sophomore year at Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD before transferring to St. Albans his junior season.
Williams garnered attention early in his playing career, and felt he has eyes on his game for the past few seasons:
“I’ve always felt like the spotlight was on me, especially after winning the WCAC Championship back in 2019, what we were able to accomplish with me at the helm was truly special”.
Williams also won the Top Gun Accuracy Challenge at the Elite 11 Regionals Showcase in VA Beach in 2020. Williams career has not always been filled with glitz and glamor, he missed virtually his entire junior season due to leadership in Washington, DC putting a halt to all sporting events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This decision drastically affected his recruitment:
“I’ll be honest it did hurt for a while, I felt that if I had an opportunity to play my junior season, things may have turned out differently, but that’s behind me now, I’m excited to move on and be a Viking.”
When asked why he chose Elizabeth City State University an Historically Black College, Williams responded:
“It’s an honor to play at an HBCU, I understand what HBCU’s mean to the culture and how necessary they are especially in today’s climate; the opportunity to attend a prestigious university such as Elizabeth City and contribute day one was an opportunity that I could not pass on, plus to do it in North Carolina which is where my family is from means that much more.”
With the rise in popularity of HBCUs - largely in part due to NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders becoming the Head Football Coach at Jackson State University - many of the nation’s top players are now heavily considering attending Historically Black Colleges And Universities.
Both the nation’s number one ranked overall player and number four ranked wide receiver chose Jackson State University over a multitude of Power 5 PWI institutions. With Chase Williams also choosing to attend an HBCU over other options as well, this may be a trend we continue to see grow in the coming years.
When asked if he hoped to inspire other young black athletes to attend an HBCU over other popular choices, Williams responded:
“I sure hope so. HBCUs have a rich tradition of not only producing Hall of Fame talent, but also some of the world’s greatest thinkers, it’s unfortunate that that has been overlooked in recent years but with social media and access to information and people like Deion Sanders who are creating equal opportunities at these institutions, it’s only a matter a time before HBCU’s return to the national spotlight and I look forward to being one of the one’s on the forefront of that movement.”
Coach Nigel Rios - Defensive Coordinator at Elizabeth City State University and primary recruiter for Chase - was elated when he got the news that he had officially signed,
“Landing a player of Chase’s caliber is something a coach dreams of, not only is he a hard worker and student of the game he also has tremendous character and great maturity for a young man his age. We’re excited for his arrival on campus and are excited to get to work.”
Claude Williams, the father of Chase Williams, was also excited when his son signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, February 2, saying:
“I am extremely proud of my son Chase, he has had to endure so much at such a young age but it has never stopped him, we are very proud of the decision he made to attend an HBCU, we know what this decision meant to him and how important it was for him to be the example for those coming after him, we are very proud of him and are behind him every step of the way.”
Williams private quarterback Coach Aaron Campbell of Respect & Honor Academy based in Prince George’s County MD also had high praise for the quarterback:
“What Chase has accomplished is amazing, assisting him on his journey is something I’ll always cherish, he’s one of the hardest working young men I’ve ever had to privilege to work with, and I know for a fact he will do great things in life.”
As one chapter ends and a new one begins Chase Williams is ready to give it everything he has, he has already set his sights on Elizabeth City’s first game of the season, “I’m ready to go out and compete and help bring a National Championship to Elizabeth City State University! Go Vikings!”