Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Williams is an imposing, tattoo-covered defensive tackle who has helped Alabama's defense become one of the nation's best.
Alabama defensive lineman Jesse Williams' route to Tuscaloosa wasn't the typical one -- growing up in Australia, he didn't pick up the game of football until he was a teenager, and it took a lucky encounter with a junior college coach overseas to get him an opportunity to play college football in the United States.
Williams began his college career at Arizona Western, where he struggled to adjust to the change in culture. After two seasons there, though, he was considered by Rivals.com to be the second best junior college prospect in the nation, and he had scholarship offers from numerous major-college football programs. He ultimately decided on Alabama, and now in his second season, he's playing for his second national championship.
Williams, who is known as Tha Monstar, uses his great strength to help anchor a stifling Crimson Tide defense. This season he has 36 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. He finished 2011 with 24 tackles.
In addition to his imposing size, Williams is also recognizable by the many tattoos that adorn his body. Those tattoos convey a number of different messages, including "fear is a liar," which is inked on the right side of his head. Williams says he'll probably get another tattoo if the Crimson Tide prevail against Notre Dame.
His football career is not likely to end with the conclusion of the BCS Championship. Williams is ranked as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the 2013 class by SB Nation's Dan Kadar and the No. 9 overall prospect in the draft. Williams is a member of one of the deeper position groups in the draft -- Kadar thinks as many as six defensive tackles could go in the first round, depending on which underclassmen leave early.
For now, though, Williams is focusing on helping his team beat Notre Dame and win another national title.