On the football field, Plant City’s Mario Williams is a formidable offensive weapon. The Oklahoma recruit can accelerate past defenders as he streaks down the sideline, often for a touchdown.
That quickness helped Williams become one of the nation’s top receivers in the Class of 2021.
Speed also plays a vital role in Williams’ other sport — baseball.
This past weekend, Williams created some buzz when he took the mound for his travel baseball team. Williams was consistently clocked throwing 88-90 mph. His fastball topped out at 91.
Okay, that was pitching.
What about offense?
Williams can display plenty of that, too.
In that same travel tournament, Williams smacked a ball that sailed past centerfield for a home run. He continued to show off his hitting and base running skills.
In three years on varsity, Williams has steadily improved as a hitter. This past season was his best yet with a .316 average to go along with five RBIs and a homer in an abbreviated seven-game schedule.
Williams also took on the role as the Raiders’ closer. He pitched one scoreless inning in a season that was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. His role on the mound is expected to increase if Williams decides to stay for his entire senior year rather than graduate early.
The baseball ties at Plant City run deep, not just with Williams but also the football coaching staff. Raiders receivers coach Anthony Rozier is the grandson of Hank Aaron. Rozier’s father, Lary Aaron, is a scout with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In January, Williams got to meet Hank Aaron for the first time.
“Mario is special — in both sports,” Rozier said. “He is going to shock a lot of people at Oklahoma.”
Williams does not plan on simply sticking to football once he gets to college. He said he wants to play both sports with the Sooners.