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College QB leaving school, wants to be Navy SEAL

Nov 29, 2023

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Utah State quarterback Levi Williams just turned in one of the best performances of his collegiate career. Instead of riding that momentum into his last year of eligibility though, the USU Aggie is trading in his cleats and pads for boots and body armor. He wants to be a Navy SEAL.

Williams is a Texas native who started playing college ball in Wyoming. He was on the roster at Utah State for a couple of seasons, but didn’t get a start until Nov. 24.

He had an incredible game. With 351 yards of total offense and five touchdowns, Williams led his team to a 44-41 double-overtime victory against New Mexico, and was named the Mountain West Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week.

The win also helped the Aggies become bowl eligible. But the winning doesn’t stop there for Williams. He’s getting married in March, too.

So why would this young man want to forego playing the game he loves, for a school that loves him, and with the woman he loves watching?

Williams gave his answer during an interview on KSL Sports Radio in Utah. He said it’s about defending what he loves.

“I just want to be in a spot where I can protect this great country, where we can play football and have the freedom to do that,” Williams said. “I think this is the best country in the world and would like to protect it and keep it that way for as long as I can.”

Warrior blood runs in Williams’ veins. His mother was in the Army, while his grandparents served in the Navy.

Williams said he hopes to be an officer with the Navy SEALs. He has already started training, and has completed the Physical Standard Test, a requirement for selection into SEAL training.

The SEALs start their selection process in February. If chosen, Williams said he’ll start his SEAL training in the summer, hopefully go to Officer Candidate School next fall and winter, and finally to BUDS training in the spring of 2025.

“What I love about their ethos and their motto is that no one guy is better than the other,” Williams said. “It takes all of them to complete a mission. I think that’s super critical. Just to have the ability to possibly be part of that brotherhood and that team would be a great honor.”

Williams isn’t the first athlete competing at a high level to forego or delay their playing career in order to serve their country.

David Robinson served two years as a civil engineering officer in the Navy after he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs. But Robinson played college ball for the Naval Academy, so he had to serve as active duty. Pat Tillman left the NFL and signed up for the Army after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

But times are a little different now. The U.S. military is struggling to fill its ranks, and new polling shows more Americans than ever are unwilling to sign up for military service if the U.S. enters a major war, all of which makes Williams’ decision even more meaningful to himself, his family, and potentially his future brothers in the Navy SEALs.

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UTAH STATE QUARTERBACK LEVI WILLIAMS JUST TURNED IN ONE OF THE BEST PERFORMANCES OF HIS COLLEGIATE CAREER. INSTEAD OF RIDING THAT MOMENTUM INTO HIS LAST YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY THOUGH, THE USU AGGIE IS TRADING IN HIS CLEATS AND PADS FOR BOOTS AND BODY ARMOR. HE WANTS TO BE A NAVY SEAL.

WILLIAMS IS A TEXAS NATIVE. HE STARTED PLAYING COLLEGE BALL IN WYOMING. HE WAS ON THE ROSTER AT UTAH STATE FOR A COUPLE OF SEASONS BUT DIDN’T GET A START UNTIL NOVEMBER 24. HE HAD A GREAT GAME. RESPONSIBLE FOR 351 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE AND FIVE TOUCHDOWNS. WILLIAMS LED HIS TEAM TO A 44-41 DOUBLE OVERTIME VICTORY AGAINST NEW MEXICO AND WAS NAMED THE MOUNTAIN WEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

THE WIN ALSO HELPED THE AGGIES ACHIEVE SOMETHING MY POOR HUSKERS HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO IN YEARS; BECOME BOWL ELIGIBLE. BUT THE WINS DON’T STOP THERE FOR WILLIAMS, HE’S GETTING MARRIED IN MARCH TOO.

SO WHY WOULD THIS YOUNG MAN WANT TO FOREGO PLAYING THE GAME HE LOVES, FOR A SCHOOL THAT LOVES HIM, AND WITH THE WOMAN HE LOVES WATCHING? DURING AN INTERVIEW ON UTAH SPORTS RADIO, WILLIAMS SAID IT’S ABOUT DEFENDING WHAT HE LOVES.

Levi Williams: I just want to be in a spot where I can protect this great country where we can play football. We have the freedom to do that. I think this is the best country in the world and would like to protect it and keep it that way for as long as I can.

WARRIOR’S BLOOD RUNS IN WILLIAMS’ VEINS. HIS MOM WAS IN THE ARMY, GRANDPARENTS IN THE NAVY. WILLIAMS SAYS HE HOPES TO BE AN OFFICER WITH THE NAVY SEALS. HE’S ALREADY STARTED TRAINING AND COMPLETED THE PHYSICAL STANDARD TEST, A REQUIREMENT FOR SELECTION INTO SEAL TRAINING. THE SEALS START THEIR SELECTION PROCESS IN FEBRUARY. IF CHOSEN, WILLIAMS SAID HE’LL START HIS SEAL TRAINING IN THE SUMMER, HOPEFULLY GO TO OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL NEXT FALL AND WINTER, AND FINALLY TO BUDS TRAINING IN THE SPRING OF 2025.

Levi Williams: What I love about their ethos and their motto is that no one guy is better than the other. It takes all of them to complete a mission. I think that’s super critical. Just to have the ability to possibly be part of that brotherhood and that team would be a great honor.

WILLIAMS ISN’T THE FIRST ATHLETE COMPETING AT A HIGH LEVEL TO FOREGO OR DELAY THEIR PLAYING CAREER IN ORDER TO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY. DAVID ROBINSON SERVED TWO YEARS AS A CIVIL ENGINEERING OFFICER IN THE NAVY AFTER HE WAS DRAFTED BY THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS. BUT ROBINSON PLAYED COLLEGE BALL FOR THE NAVAL ACADEMY, SO HE HAD TO SERVE AS ACTIVE DUTY.
PAT TILLMAN LEFT THE NFL AND SIGNED UP FOR THE ARMY AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 11TH TERROR ATTACKS.

BUT TIMES ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT NOW. THE U.S. MILITARY IS STRUGGLING TO FILL ITS RANKS, AND NEW POLLING SHOWS MORE AMERICANS THAN EVER ARE UNWILLING TO SIGN UP FOR MILITARY SERVICE IF THE U.S. ENTERS A MAJOR WAR.
WHICH MAKES WILLIAMS’ DECISION ALL THE MORE MEANINGFUL TO HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY, AND POTENTIALLY HIS FUTURE BROTHERS IN THE NAVY SEALS.