Tyler Williams’ Don Bosco Prep graduation celebration will be short-lived.
Williams will receive his high school diploma from the Ramsey, N.J., school on June 2 and will leave for Monmouth University four days later.
The Pine Bush resident, nicknamed “Tank” by Don Bosco coaches, has made himself into a Division I offensive lineman at the Football Championship Subdivision level.
Williams signed with Monmouth of the Big South Conference in December and will take a summer class and lift with his new teammates. If the transition goes smoothly, Williams, who started 21 games for Don Bosco the past two seasons, could compete for playing time as a freshman.
“When I went there (Monmouth) the first time for a Junior Day, I really liked the campus,” said the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Williams. “It was just big enough for me. I didn't want to be on a campus where I had to take a bus for a half hour to get to my class. I really like the coaching staff. I liked the offensive line coach (Brian Gabriel).”
Williams received the nickname “Tank” during his sophomore season. There were two Tylers on Don Bosco’s offensive line. Williams was built like his moniker, 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds. He started at right guard and played at 310 pounds his junior season. Williams lifted at Don Bosco four times a week in the offseason leading up to his senior season, dropping 40 pounds. He also worked out three times a week locally at Ultimate Advantage in Bloomingburg.
“I ended up shedding a lot of bad weight and putting on a lot of good weight,” Williams said.
Williams’ commitment to a next level academic and athletic experience started his freshman year. Williams woke up at 4:30 a.m. and drove to Middletown to catch a train to Ramsey, N.J, where he took a bus to Don Bosco.
“I was getting home between 9 and 10 every night,” Williams said.
Now, the countdown clock is at three weeks before Williams leaves for Monmouth. The Hawks were 9-3 under veteran coach Kevin Callahan and qualified for the FCS playoffs. Monmouth center Alex Thompson recently signed a free-agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
“Obviously I'm going to college to play football and I would love to play in the NFL,” Williams said. “I'm just trying to get my degree and do the best that I can for Monmouth and play my hardest for them. The NFL is always going to be there.”