As he leaves the Huskies and heads off to a junior college back home in Southern California, Troy Williams isn’t doing so with his head down.
“I’ll be back real soon,” he says, a parting shot in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “Don’t worry about me.”
He won’t be back to UW, having announced on Monday, through the school, that he is transferring. But Williams is confident he’ll be back at a major-college program after a year at Santa Monica College. He will then have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“It just wasn’t working out (at UW),” he said. “I was hoping it would be a good opportunity for me, especially with Coach Pete coming in. It just didn’t work out.”
As a redshirt freshman, Williams was part of a three-man battle for UW’s starting quarterback job. Sophomore Jeff Lindquist wound up starting the season opener at Hawaii and sophomore Cyler Miles took over after that.
Did Williams feel like he got a fair shot?
“I can’t be sure,” he said. “I felt like I competed to the best of my ability. We had a great group of guys and I felt like I did my part, trying to lead the team and doing my best out there. It was fun out there, trying to show everybody what I could do. … I was never afraid of the competition. That was one of the reasons I went to UW. I wanted to show that competition doesn’t scare me and show everyone what I can do. It was fun while it lasted.”
Williams was, of course, recruited to UW by former coach Steve Sarkisian. The transition to Chris Petersen and the new coaching staff was “rough at first,” Williams said.
“Sark was recruiting me since my 10th-grade year. He gave me my first offer, and I had a great relationship with him and everybody on the (previous) staff,” said Williams, a Carson, Calif., native. “I just had a great connection with him, knowing he’s from the L.A. area, too. He knew what I had to go through and how hard I worked to get there. It was going to be good. But he had to make a better decision for himself and his family, so it worked out for him. … It was rough at first with the new coaches, but I ended up getting over it.”
Williams made one start for the Huskies, a 24-10 loss to No. 14 Arizona State at Husky Stadium on Oct. 25. It was a game played in monsoon-like conditions, and Williams completed 18 of 26 passes for 139 yards with two interceptions.
“I was real excited,” he said. “I kind of knew I was going to get the start (with Miles out with a concussion). … I prepared to the best of my ability and I felt like we had a great week of practice. I was hoping the weather would be better, but it is what it is. Obviously, it wasn’t that great of a performance, but I didn’t really feel like I could show what I could do. I wish I could’ve had a better chance in good weather — just any game except that game.
“That pretty much summed it up for me. I knew that would be pretty much it for me.”
Williams said there was never any discussion with coaches after that about him starting again. He let offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith know in December that he was planning to transfer, but Williams didn’t want to be a distraction to the team’s bowl-game preparations, so he waited to announce his decision.
“I wanted to ride it out last game with my teammates and brothers,” he said. “It was all good. They all wished me good luck and it is what it is.”
At Santa Monica, Williams will reunite with Tim Kaub, the team’s offensive coordinator and Williams’ offensive coordinator at Narbonne High School. He has high hopes.
“I’m not done yet,” he said.