Wyomissing High School senior J’ven Williams has emerged as one of the most dominant athletes in school history. Williams, 6’-4”/285 lbs., now ranked as the top high school football recruit in Pennsylvania for the Class of 2023 and a top-five offensive lineman in the nation, flew up recruiting boards everywhere during the first few weeks of the 2021 season following an impressive start to his junior year on the gridiron. In a year when he caught the attention of historic college football programs such as Penn State, Southern California, Pittsburgh, and Michigan, J’ven helped to lead the Spartans to their third straight District III 3A Championship and their second straight appearance in the PIAA 3A State Championship, receiving All-State recognition and being named the Berks County Lineman of the Year in the process. While the Spartan football team was unable to capture a state title, Williams was able to lead the Spartans’ men’s track team to a PIAA 2A State Championship following his record-setting and championship-winning shotput throw – 66’ 7 ¾” – and winning the State discus competition (personal best 189’) and capturing All-State throwing honors.
J’ven’s parents are Ivette Carrasquillo and Rushard Williams Sr.
In February 2022, J’ven announced his commitment to play college football for Penn State University under head coach James Franklin and offensive line coach Phil Trautwein. J’ven said he chose PSU because, “Obviously, the relationship with Coach Franklin and Coach Trautwein made a huge impact on me and swayed me in their direction. I also was able to develop great relationships with some of the other commits, which played a part. But a factor that I don’t often talk about is the location. It’s only two hours from home, and I want my family to be at every single game. The best in PA stay in PA.” While J’ven hopes one day to make the NFL, he plans to major in communications so that he can still be around the game when his career is over and follow a similar career path as one of his mentors, Wyomissing alumnus and former NFL tackle Ross Tucker.
While J’ven credits Tucker with helping him get on the radar of many Division 1 programs, two other men in Williams’ life stick out to him when he looks back on his success – his father, Rushard Williams Sr. and Wyomissing offensive line Coach Steve O’Neil. “My dad sacrificed a lot of time and money for me to get where I am today and has been someone I look up to and want to make proud of after all he has done for me. Coach O’Neil has spent a lot of time with me, working on technique and other things that he doesn’t necessarily have to teach me but wants to teach me, which has allowed us to build a great bond. Coach Wolfrum is a legend, and the whole coaching staff has so much experience.”
With J’ven planning to graduate early from Wyomissing and enroll in time for spring practice at Penn State, he has had to reflect on the time he has had at Wyomissing, even though his senior season has not even begun yet, “One of my favorite things about Wyo is the tradition. I love how close the community is and how much they care about our football program, even when they might not necessarily even have kids on the team. My favorite memory is the Southern Columbia game because of the energy around it and that the fans and players brought to it.” Another underrated part of his time at Wyomissing, J’ven says, is his time under his brother, Rushard Williams Jr. The latter graduated in 2021 and started on the offensive line the year before J’ven making a name for himself with his play at the A-Field. “He taught me a lot of things about technique and made me a better player. But mainly, it was just really cool to have someone to compete with at home and on the football field. We made each other better every day, and he taught me a lot of small things that helped me succeed in our system.”