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Utah State QB to forgo senior season, join Navy SEAL training instead: 'I just want to ... protect this great country'
Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Utah State QB to forgo senior season, join Navy SEAL training instead: 'I just want to ... protect this great country'

In an era of college football in which elite players can receive seven-figure NIL offers, one humble quarterback has decided to serve his country rather than seek fame and fortune. Levi Williams of Utah State University has chosen to forgo his final season of eligibility and start Navy SEAL training instead.

On Monday, Williams announced his decision on Salt Lake City radio station KSL 97.5 FM, just two days after he led the USU Aggies to a thrilling double-overtime win over the New Mexico Lobos. "It’s something that took a lot of thought and consideration," he said. "I love football and it’s so great, but I knew eventually it was going to come to an end. With the timeline of training and stuff, it just works out perfectly to end it this year."

Williams, whose mother and grandparents also served in the military, added that patriotic fervor played a significant part in his decision. "I just want to be in a spot where I can protect this great country, where we get to play football with the freedom to do that," he said. "I think this is the best country in the world. So I’d like to keep it that way and protect it as long as I can."

In addition to his family, Williams claimed that he has the full support of his fiancée, Tatum. "I told her, 'Hey, I need to talk to you about something really serious. This is what’s on my heart and where I feel like God’s calling me,'" Williams told KSL. “She said, 'That’s awesome. Let’s do it. I’m with you until the end.' Her dad was Army as well, so she kind of knows the military life. So she’s excited."

Williams grew up in Canyon Lake, Texas, and then spent three years playing for the Cowboys of the University of Wyoming before transferring to Utah State in 2021. His two years with the Aggies didn't go as planned, however, and Williams spent much of his time on the bench as the third-string quarterback.

That all changed last Saturday when injuries to fellow QBs Cooper Legas and McCae Hillstead left Coach Blake Anderson no choice but to start Williams.

Williams made it count. He had 351 total yards, including 153 yards carrying, and accounted for a staggering five touchdowns against the Lobos. Even after he botched a snap in the second overtime, Williams picked it up and ran 13 yards for the game-winning score.

His performance in that game was so remarkable that Williams was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week and one of eight Manning Award Stars of the Week. The win also brought the Aggies' record to 6-6, making them bowl-eligible.

Though listed as a junior, Williams has already graduated from USU and intends to begin Navy SEAL training shortly after the Aggies' bowl game. He'll certainly need to focus his efforts, as the qualifying fitness test is daunting: a 500-yard swim; maximum push-ups, pull-ups, and curl-ups done in separate two-minute intervals; and a 1.5-mile run. The swim and the run each must be completed within 12.5 minutes.

Rather than shy away from the challenge, though, Williams seems to embrace it, as well as the opportunity to serve alongside other devoted patriots. "What I love about [the SEALs'] ethos and their motto is that no one guy is better than the other.

"It takes all of them to complete a mission."

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News. She has a Ph.D. in Shakespearean drama, but now enjoys writing about religion, sports, and local criminal investigations. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.
@cortneyweil →