A star college quarterback is forgoing his senior year on the turf in favor of the trenches, telling local media outlets that he plans to begin training to become a Navy SEAL.
Levi Williams, 21, has led the Utah State Aggies to a respectable .500 season during his first year as starting quarterback. But instead of building on his success, the Texas native told KSL Sports he believes God is calling him to serve his country next year.
“I love football and it’s so great,” Williams said. “But I knew that, eventually, it was going to come to an end.”
“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. 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.”
The selection process for the SEALs takes place in February, giving Williams a small window to prepare for the grueling training where less than one in four participants endure to the end.
“The timeline with training and stuff, it just kind of works out perfectly to get in this year. My mom was Army. My grandparents were Navy and Army. So it kind of runs in the family,” he said.
Asked about how he broke the news to his fiancé, whom he plans to marry in March, Williams said he was listening to a higher power.
“This is where God’s calling me,” Williams recalled telling his soon-to-be wife, according to The Western Journal. “Obviously, we can’t prepare for everything. There’s going to be some unexpected turns along the way. As long you trust God and trust me, I think we’re gonna be alright.”
Williams, who was recently named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week, credited his teammates for his work ethic and said the SEALs is a natural fit for his next band of brothers.
“What I love about their ethos and their motto is that no one guy is better than the other. It takes all of them to complete a mission. I think that’s super critical… Just to have the ability to be part of that brotherhood, it would be a great honor.
Other famous athletes and celebrities over the years have forgone fame and fortune in favor of military service. Former NFL player Pat Tillman left the Arizona Cardinals following 9/11, enlisting in the elite Army Rangers and ultimately perishing during the war in Afghanistan. In July, Country music star Craig Morgan reenlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve at the ripe age of 59.