Tyler Williams, a wide receiver recruit, had the opportunity to meet his idol Julio Jones while on his way to visit Syracuse.

Riverview (Fla.) Sumner wide receiver Tyler Williams had a weekend he will never forget when he ran into NFL great Julio Jones at the airport before his recruiting visit at Syracuse. The encounter with his football idol left a lasting impression on the coveted pass catcher.

Williams, a highly sought-after prospect in the class of 2025, had been looking forward to his visit to Syracuse to meet with the coaching staff and continue the recruiting process. However, his encounter with Jones added an unexpected twist to his weekend.

“It was real special because that’s my favorite football player of all time and, to me, the greatest receiver,” Williams said. “I mention it in every interview that I watch his film every day and that I try to model my game after him.”

Jones, a former five-star recruit coming out of Foley (Ala.) High in 2008, not only imparted recruiting advice to Williams but also took the time to review his film.

“I showed him my film and he was really impressed and said if I keep going and working I can be successful,” Williams said. “He also spoke to me about making a decision in the recruiting process. He said at the end of the day it’s just football, so pick a school that fits right and trust it.”

Williams took Jones’ advice to heart as he entered his Syracuse visit with a new perspective. The wide receiver had a positive experience in Central New York, getting a firsthand look at Fran Brown’s new coaching staff and the changes happening within the program.

“It was really fun,” Williams said of his visit. “It was great to see the new staff at work and all the change happening. I also got to see the area, which is always good because if I go there I’ll be living there.”

The Orange coaching staff made it clear to Williams that he could have an immediate impact on the team and further develop his skills for the next level.

“They say that I can come there, play early, make an impact and also develop to prepare me for the next level,” Williams said.

After his visit to Syracuse, Williams acknowledged that the Orange could potentially become a contender in his recruitment, surprising many who underestimated the program.

“It’s surprising to a lot, but they have the most genuine coaches and if they win some games this year I don’t see why they couldn’t be a contender,” Williams said.

The encounter with Julio Jones at the airport not only made Williams’ weekend unforgettable but also provided valuable insights and guidance for the talented wide receiver as he navigates the recruiting process and considers his future in college football.