Running back James Williams verbally committed to WSU on Wednesday, penciling his name into the Cougars 2015 signing class. If he does indeed sign with WSU, at some point in the near future he'll have a locker in the Cougars new $61 million football operations building. The building is about as lavish as it gets and a far cry from not long ago when Williams lived in a car with his parents and sister for nine months.
Williams has drawn attention for his play on the field and rightfully so, but his story off it is even more compelling. Gerry Gittelson profiled Williams in 2013 for the Los Angeles Daily News and the first two paragraphs go a long way in telling the story of just how far Williams has come and what he overcame to get to this point.
He arrived four years ago from a rough section of Toledo, Ohio, in a neighborhood so crime-ridden there were five murders on his street the week before he left.
He was homeless in the San Fernando Valley for nine months while struggling to pass classes in middle school and eventually found stability with football at Burbank High. Now he is an honor student who has scored 14 touchdowns in five games.
Williams' parents struggled to find jobs upon moving, leading to the family living in a car and using the bathrooms at parks. The family eventually settled into an apartment and Williams began to shine on the football field and in the classroom.
"I'm just really glad I have a chance to go to Burbank and to play high school football," Williams said last year. "Without it, I wouldn't be the player I am today. I feel like I'm pretty lucky because I've pretty much done a complete turnaround. I used to get all D's and F's on my report card, and now I get A's and B's. Maybe I was spoiled before, but now I'm humble."
There was actually a WSU connection even before Williams committed as Williams' high school running back coach is Richard Broussard, the brother of former WSU running back and assistant coach Steve Broussard. Broussard took a similar path, going from living in a dangerous neighborhood to starring on the field and eventually making his way to Pullman.
"James Williams is an amazing story so far, and we're only in the middle of it," Steve Broussard said. "The best stuff, he hasn't done it yet. But the sky is the limit for this kid. He can play with anyone."
Deone Bucannon could officially become an NFL player today with the first round of the NFL Draft set to begin at 5 p.m. PT. Most pundits project Bucannon to go in the second or third round -- both of which will be held on Friday -- but there is a chance he could come off the board today. Best of luck, Deone.
Washington State’s Deone Bucannon awaits big call in draft - Spokesman.com - May 8, 2014
Although Deone Bucannon’s days of playing for the Cougars are over, Washington State defensive coordinator Mike Breske can still eke out a little more production from his graduated All-American safety.
Women’s Basketball Recognized for APR Excellence - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Washington State University women’s basketball team was recognized as part of the NCAA’s Public Recognition Awards for the 2012-13 academic year, the organization announced Wednesday.
Cougars Host Utes - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Washington State (20-23, 10-11 Pac-12) baseball team hosts Utah (14-28, 3-189 Pac-12) in a three-game Pac-12 Conference series, May 9-11 at Bailey-Brayton Field...game times are 6 p.m., Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday and noon, Sunday...Cougars are 283-271 under Donnie Marbut, who is in his 10th season as head coach of the Washington State program and 11th overall in Pullman...Marbut is assisted by Gregg Swenson, Pat Waer and Michael Naughton.