CALUMET CITY | T.F. North coach Artie Rogers has a lot of confidence in Jamal Williams.
Rogers also knows it is up to the 6-foot-2 junior two-way lineman to live up to his potential.
"Jamal can be as good as he wants to be," Rogers said. "He has great movement for a big man and he plays hard."
Williams would like to reverse last year's 1-8 record and make the playoffs, like the Meteors did two years ago. The last North win was against tonight's opponent, Thornridge.
"That hurt last year," Williams said. "I know this year, Coach (Rogers) is counting on the line to come through and ou rjob is to make sure we do our jobs."
He remembers Hillcrest snapping its 26-game losing streak at the expense of the Meteors on its homecoming night.
"I was upset the whole week after that," Williams said. "People were joking around at school and saying things about us.
"We didn't like hearing it, but we did lose."
Williams is a center and long snapper, and he also plays defensive end. He said he went to a few camps and worked on his technique.
"I worked a lot on my step, stance and technique," he said. "On offense, it is important to get low and get off the line.
"On defense, it is a lot of technique and just being prepared."
He said he learned a lot from former teammate and 2013 grad Jeremy Baldwin.
"He taught me to keep my butt low and know the situation out there," Williams said. "I learned from him a lot about pass rushing and getting to the quarterback."
He also translated that into being a successful offensive lineman.
"You have to protect the quarterback and open holes for the backs," Williams said. "You learn a lot by playing both ways."