Jonah Williams Is An Amateur Chef Who Broils As Well As He Blocks
ESPN The Magazine|November 2018
Jonah Williams Is An Amateur Chef Who Broils As Well As He Blocks

As his team feasts on opponents and his NFL prospects sizzle, Alabama’s Jonah Williams has all the makings of college football’s top tackle—and top amateur chef.

David M. Hale

Jonah Williams is squished next to teammate Ross Pierschbacher on a couch meant for three. Together, the Alabama linemen are tackling a Thanksgiving feast meant for six. “Did you know Joe Thomas has his own beer?” Williams asks between bites of sweet potato casserole, his own recipe. Pierschbacher’s mouth is too full of mac and cheese to respond, so he just nods.

Thomas is a hero to both Bama players thanks to his long NFL career but also because the former Browns offensive tackle, a 10-time Pro Bowler, isn’t defined by football.

Williams could well be the next Joe Thomas. He’s an All-America tackle, blocking for the nation’s top quarterback, on a team that might, again, be the best in the country. The 20-year-old isn’t brewing beer—yet —but he can cook up a perfectly seasoned rack of lamb that would pair nicely with Thomas’ 73 Kolsch.

“I’m not an Italian grandma,” Williams says of his culinary-expertise level, “but if something looks good, I’ll try [cooking] it.”

As his mouthwatering Instagram account (@recipesbyjonah) shows, he takes broiling as seriously as blocking. He’s become college’s top left tackle, and maybe its best amateur chef, by following this recipe for success:


When Williams, a 240-pound two-way lineman in high school, started getting scholarship offers as a tackle, he knew he had to bulk up.

That’s how The Shake was born. Main ingredient: protein powder—lots of it.

“The scoop for the powder was that big,” he says, holding his hands 8 inches apart. “Like, it came with a shovel.”

He’d heap four scoops into a blender along with whole milk, a banana, oatmeal, peanut butter, ice cream and chocolate syrup. Total calories per shake: 2,700.


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November 2018