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Russellville student-athlete signs to continue football at UNA

Ashaad Williams perhaps couldn’t help but get emotional Wednesday as he thought about all of the friends and family who have supported him along his journey to signing to play Division I football.

Williams signed with the University of North Alabama – the fourth athlete from this year’s football signing class at Russellville to sign for college ball.

“I’m glad it is finally here so now all I have to do is keep working to improve,” Williams said.

Russellville head football coach John Ritter said he has seen Williams grow from a small athlete to a talented prospect with a lot of work effort.

“UNA is getting a steal with him,” Ritter said. “He is going to be the first from UNA to go in the top 25 in the NFL draft.”

Ritter said what sets Williams apart is his drive and his will to always do his best.

“We would always set him up against the other team’s best receivers,” Ritter said. “It didn’t matter what kind of Division I athletes he went against because he had them covered. We could always depend on him.”

Williams said the decision to attend UNA was a no-brainer for him because it allows him to stay close to his family.

“Whenever I received an offer from them, I didn’t even have to think about it,” Williams said. “I knew from the start that was where I wanted to go because it is so close to home.”

Williams said he has worked hard to get to where he is, from bulking in size to working on his skills.

“I am very blessed to have so many different people who believed in me,” Williams said. “A lot of these guys believed in me and where I would be when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Although he is looking forward to playing football at UNA, with a hope of one day reaching the NFL, Williams said his ultimate college goal is getting his degree.

“He is a great guy who will do lots of great things,” Ritter said. “I am looking forward to watching him for the next four years.”