Bonneville senior Elijah Williams is not a magician. He just plays one in All-Star games.
Presented with green camouflage uniforms prior to the Idaho National Guard East Idaho All-Star Game at Shelley High School on May 23, Williams and District 6 teammate Deric Deede of Idaho Falls decided to take advantage of the jerseys they were given.
Just before the opening kick, Williams feigned a calf cramp at his own 1-yard line.
Then he disappeared. Poof.
Williams was lying face down and motionless on the 1, largely invisible with only his green Bonneville helmet and camo shoulder pads exposed.
District 5 kicker Dallan Rodriguez kicked the ball to Deede on the east hash. Still, Williams lay motionless, nearly invisible to the predators charging downfield.
When Deede caught the kickoff, Williams jumped to his feet and Deede threw the ball across the field where Williams caught it at the 5 - and he was off.
Williams made it out past the 30-yard-line on the trick play, but Deede’s lateral was ruled a forward pass, and Idaho Falls started on its own 3.
For a moment, however, Williams was invisible. And he’s taking those magic talents to South Moscow, and the University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome.
“Deric came up with that about five minutes before kickoff,” Williams said. “He was talking about how he’d seen it in a game, and I thought it sounded like a good idea, so, yeah.”
Williams and the D6 All-Stars lost the play but won the game, sending the Bonneville senior to the Division I field on a high note. Williams signed a Letter of Intent as a preferred walk-on at cornerback, making him a non-scholarship player on the 110-man UI roster.
If he has his way, however, Williams will be in the lineup sooner than later.
“I have a spot on the roster, but I want to earn a spot in the lineup by working hard every day to make my way into the rotation,” he said. ” As far as I know, I’m going to play corner and that is my main focus.”
Williams moved from Moscow to eastern Idaho following his seventh grade year, and the friends and family he has near the UI campus helped take some of the sting out of a difficult decision. The College of Idaho was also in the running for the speedy defensive back, but once Williams thought it through, choosing Moscow was a no-brainer.
“I’ve always been a Vandals fan, and I thought about where I would want to be even if I wasn’t playing football, and that was Moscow,” he said.