Maxx Williams, football

Maxx Williams can hurdle would-be tacklers or simply plow right over them. It’s their choice, depending on how they try to stop the 6-4, 250-pound pass-catching force from Waconia.

Williams emerged as one of the football team’s best playmakers last year as a true freshman, when he caught 25 passes for 417 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers figure to increase this year, as the coaches believe he’s already one of the best tight ends in the Big Ten and eventually headed for the NFL.

Athletic prowess pours through his family. His father, Brian Williams, played center for the Gophers before spending 11 years with the New York Giants. His mother, Rochelle (Goetz) Williams, played volleyball for the Gophers and won the Big Ten Medal of Honor, for athletic and scholastic achievement, in 1988.

Rochelle’s brother, Ron Goetz, played fullback and linebacker for the Gophers. Their father, also named Ron Goetz, was a football player during his time at the university. And Brian’s father, Bob Williams, was a quarterback at Notre Dame in the 1950s.

“Maxx doesn’t have any choice [but to succeed],” coach Jerry Kill said. “It’s a great, competitive family, and his future’s endless.”