Josh Williams ended his University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football career as the Mocs' all-time sack leader with 23.5. A four-year starter at defensive end, he earned All-Southern Conference honors as a freshman and junior.
Williams was a rock on the defense throughout coach Russ Huesman's first four seasons at UTC. Listed, perhaps generously, at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Williams had a statistically quiet senior season with 24 tackles and two sacks.
Last weekend's NFL draft and undrafted free agents signings came and went without an opportunity coming Williams' way. But he hasn't given up hope on getting a chance to play professional football.
"I don't have any concrete plans, but I've looked into some tryout listings and maybe I could make a team doing that," said Williams, who is graduating this summer. "I've been training since the season ended, and hopefully I can get a shot somewhere."
Williams said he'd be open to playing the Canadian Football League or the Arena Football League, if those are his options.
The construction of a football building took a small step forward Friday when UTC officials, including Huesman, met with the firm Perkins+Will to go over plans for the proposed project.
While UTC is a long way from breaking ground -- the current plan is to build the facility across East Fourth Street, next to the Blood Assurance building -- Huesman said before the meeting that having some detailed renderings now is important for recruiting.
"There's no timeline for when it's going to be done or when it's going to start," Huesman said this week of the building's construction. "We haven't even gotten to those stages yet. The biggest thing for me is to have plans and pictures to show to people. [New athletic director David Blackburn] and I talked about that the other day. We've got a camp June 1 and I don't know what we can have to show these kids when they show up at our stadium."
Before the new seats can be installed at McKenzie Arena, the old ones have to be removed. The demolition of the lower bowl seating, which has been in place since the Roundhouse opened in December 1982, will begin June 3.
Todd Bullard, UTC's director of athletic training, who also is overseeing the athletic department's facilities projects, said the new lower-level seating should be in by September.
Mayes won't return
Keith Mayes, the former all-state safety from Red Bank High School, will not be returning to the UTC team, Huesman said. After redshirting in 2010, Mayes mostly played on special teams the past two seasons. He could never find regular playing time at safety or linebacker.
Mayes, who did not participate in spring practice, may try to play elsewhere, Huesman said. Mayes ended his career with 27 total tackles and one sack.
Now that spring practice is complete, some players at Football Bowl Subdivision schools will begin looking into transferring to Football Championship Subdivision programs in search of more playing time.
Huesman said UTC would consider signing a transfer or two at certain positions, among them linebacker.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...