Football: Ex-Nighthawk hopes to also soar as Falcon

2013-06-18T00:00:00Z Football: Ex-Nighthawk hopes to also soar as FalconZack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Air Force and Tyler Williams fit like a glove.

The former Ironwood Ridge star is a dual-threat quarterback, and the Falcons run a run-first, triple-option offense that perfectly suits his skill set.

"That," Williams said, "is right up my alley."

For I-Ridge last year, Williams passed for 1,354 yards and 17 touchdowns, with 1,143 yards and 15 TDs on the ground in guiding the Nighthawks to their first-ever Division II state championship.

In Air Force's 6-7 season last year, the Falcons passed the ball 11.6 times per game, while running it 61.8 times (or 84 percent of the time).

"That's what we did this year (at I-Ridge)," said Williams, the Star's 2012 Offensive Player of the Year. "We established the run game, threw the ball 10-15 times. That's what I think I can bring to the team and what I do best."

Next month, Williams will report to Colorado Springs, Colo., to begin his basic training. The Star chatted with Williams on Monday.

What have you been up to in the offseason?

A: "(Air Force) sent a workout schedule, so I've been kind of mixing that with a workout schedule of my own. I'll wake up at about six, go to the weight room at school and lift. After I lift, I'll usually have throwing sessions with my quarterback coach from last year, and then I'll usually run in the evening. I'm just making sure I'm ready because I have to go into basic training before I start my football stuff, so I'm just making sure I'm in my best shape for that. I report on the 17th (of July) and then my basic training starts on the 18th, and that's for three weeks."

What was your biggest reason for choosing Air Force? (Williams also had offers from Colorado, Army and San Diego State)

A: "You know, I never thought about joining the military but once you look into it, and do your research, it pays off for the time you'll be there and the connections that you'll make with people. When I enter the workforce after I graduate and stuff, I'll have a lot of opportunities I wouldn't have if I went to another college. So, I'm really looking forward to my future and what I can do coming from the Air Force Academy."

I know you had a visit scheduled with Army when you committed to Air Force, which you canceled. So, what was it about Air Force and Colorado Springs that you liked so much?

A: "First off, the weather. I can't say I've ever experienced somewhere so green. It's cool out. You get all four seasons, which I'm excited about. Plus, it's close to home - it's not all the way over on the East Coast (like Army). My parents will be able to catch a lot of my games. And especially when I play teams (on the road) like San Diego (State) or New Mexico, they'll be able to come."

You've had some time to reflect, so looking back how special was Ironwood Ridge's state championship run for you?

A: "It's really starting to settle in now. Some days I'll just sit there and I'll look at some old games, or I'll look at the ring, and I'll look back at what we did and how special it was and how great it was to be part of something like that. To say we won the championship. To win it like that, it means the world to me, and I think as I get older I'll start to appreciate it more. It's especially great because it was the first one in school history; it means the world to me."

Does experiencing something like that in high school motivate you even more to accomplish something similar in college?

A: "Oh, yeah. I know that in our conference (Mountain West), there's some really good teams. TCU, Boise State - I look forward to playing those guys. I want to take care of business and hopefully go to a big bowl game - Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, something like that -because I know some Mountain West teams have been there before. So, I'm setting the bar really high for myself now and I'll try to achieve that in the future."

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