Williams enjoys old school vibe of Barnhill Arena

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Fort Smith Northside’s Jaylin Williams is averaging 15.4 points and  10 rebounds this season. The Grizzlies will take on Bryant in the Class 6A boys state championship game Friday in Hot Springs.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Fort Smith Northside’s Jaylin Williams is averaging 15.4 points and 10 rebounds this season. The Grizzlies will take on Bryant in the Class 6A boys state championship game Friday in Hot Springs.

— Fort Smith Northside senior forward Jaylin Williams had one of the best seats in Barnhill Arena to watch Arkansas’ throwback Red-White game on Saturday.

Williams (6-10, 230) loved what he got to see at the game that featured a 1980s vibe in a venue the Razorbacks called home until 1993.

“It was a good vibe. Everybody was loud and cheering, the coaches were dressed up like it was old school and it was really cool,” Williams said. “It was a great experience in this arena and they put on a show for everybody here.”

Williams, ranked as the 79th-best player nationally in the 2020 class by ESPN, has Arkansas as one of his final seven schools. Auburn, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Connecticut, Illinois and Iowa State are also on the list.

Williams is friends with several Razorbacks players and continues to develop his relationship with new Arkansas coach Eric Musselman and his staff.

“I talk to (current Razorbacks) Ethan (Henderson) and Zai (Isaiah Joe), who is obviously my boy back from high school,” Williams said. “I am happy to get to know a couple of these new guys. The Arkansas coaches are staying in touch with me and letting me know how much they want me.”

Williams took an official visit to Oklahoma State this summer and knows of at least three more he is going to take.

“I know I am going to take a visit to Auburn on Nov. 1-3 and I am going to set mine up with Texas A&M and with Arkansas soon,” Williams said. “That’s all I have right now."

Williams averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks per game while leading Northside to a state title last season.

Williams and Jacob Joe, Isaiah’s younger brother, are back to lead the Grizzlies this season and they are hoping to end the season in the finals in Hot Springs again this season.

“We are going to be back in Hot Springs,” Williams said. “I am just going to say that. We are going to be back.”

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