by Alan Miller, Assistant Producer for "BYU Sports Nation" on BYU Radio
With spring football at an end and class all but dismissed, it looks like BYU Running Back Jamaal Williams will fill his spare time by joining the BYU track team.
At this year’s Y Awards, BYU Track and Field Coach, Ed Eyestone, presented Jamaal Williams with an award, and as part of his presentation said, “I understand he’s pretty fast on the track as well.”
With that subtle hint, rumors began to fly on whether Williams would be joining the BYU Track team at the end of spring football. Williams is no stranger to the sport. His mom was a track star at UCLA and his younger sister, Jaela, is one of the fastest hurdlers in the state of California. Williams also lettered on his high school track team before coming to BYU.
Eyestone was a guest on “BYU Sports Nation” April 15, and confirmed that Williams has been working out on the track team. “We saw Jamaal out to practice for the first day just yesterday and so we’ll see how things go,” he said. Eyestone also mentioned that they had met with Coach Mendenhall and that they realize the priority is football, but added, “If we have a young man who is doing well academically and is a responsible young man and we can add some things on the track side, we would certainly love to see that.”
There is already a natural bridge between the two sports in Sprint and Hurdle Coach Kyle Grossarth, who also works with the football team as a strength and conditioning coach. “Coach Mendenhall has a comfort level with Coach Grossarth, so hopefully in the future we’ll be able to see some of these athletes coming out,” Eyestone said.
Eyestone mentioned that any track coach should be a fan of other teams with gifted athletes. Lexi Eaton is another dual sport athlete who participates in the high jump during the basketball off-season and narrowly missed the NCAA Championship meet two years ago.
“I would love to see (Williams) in a BYU Track uniform. We’ll see how these practices and workouts go. First of all, he needs to kind of establish himself as one of the faster guys. But I think he certainly has that capability. We’ve seen that talent on the football field and I’ve got to believe there’d probably be a place for him in the 4x100, at the very least,” Eyestone said.
Eyestone added, that anytime you have great athletes out on the Track and Field team, it’s going to help, but that he hopes it will be a winning situation for both teams. “We want to do what’s best for Jamaal and what’s best for BYU football. If we can be an asset or an aid in that, then we would certainly love to do that.”