There was little doubt Jaloni Williams was born to be a Warrior.
“When he was born, we did some research, and the name (Jaloni) actually means ‘Warrior,'” Jon Williams said of the eldest of his four sons. “It’s a Swahili name.”
Jaloni Williams, a 6-foot-1 cornerback, will be joining the Warriors in July. He is a recent graduate of Chaminade College Preparatory, a high school in Chatsworth, Calif.
Williams earned letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. He received scholarship offers from “cold-weather schools,” but opted to join the Warriors as a preferred walk-on.
“As a family, we visited there several times before,” Jon Williams said. “We’re very familiar with the program and the history and the culture and the diversity, and we know those things can really stretch his personality. It was a match made in heaven. They needed a tall corner, and he was looking for a home.”
Jaloni Williams visited UH in late February.
“It was amazing,” he said. “Obviously, it’s Hawaii. It doesn’t get any better than that. The weather is beautiful. What I love about Hawaii so much is the family feel. The people in Hawaii, in general, are just like family. They’re so kind. The coaches really embrace the team. It made it really feel like a home for me, and that’s what I need, especially going into college. It’s a great feeling to go away but knowing you’re going to a place that feels like home.”
The Williams family also was impressed with the Warriors’ success with walk-ons. Associate head coach Rich Miano, who will be Williams’ position coach, started as a UH walk-on and went on to an 11-year career in the NFL.
“We did our research,” Jon Williams said. “We’ve seen kids go to schools based on a scholarship, and they’re just not happy. We didn’t want that to be the case. We wanted to take the money out of the equation, and find the school that fits the best. Hawaii is that place. He feels he can thrive there academically and socially. Those were key factors.”
Jon Williams also was impressed with Miano’s outlook.
“He expressed the feeling that when you step on the field, you’re viewed as a football player,” Jon Williams said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a walk-on or on scholarship. They’ll play the best players.”
Jaloni Williams said he weighs 185, but expects to be 190 when he reports to UH in early July for the bridge summer session. He will be taking two classes leading to the start of training camp in August.
“The coaches are giving me a chance, and I don’t plan on letting them down,” he said. “I want to come in and work my butt off and give my all. I absolutely love the coaches and the program.”
Here’s his highlight video: Jaloni Williams.
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Happy birthday to SJ Macro, who always keeps his focus.