TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jameson Williams probably made the right decision.
In January, Williams was on the sidelines watching Alabama crush his Ohio State Buckeyes in the national title game.
One transfer and eight months later, Williams is on the field with the Crimson Tide. Ohio State’s loss is Alabama’s gain.
A big gain.
Williams caught an 81-yard touchdown pass and returned a school record two kickoffs for touchdowns to lead Alabama to a 63-14 win against Southern Miss. He had 258 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns on just four touches.
"Every time I get the ball I'm trying to take it to the crib," Williams said. "No matter what play, what catch, I'm trying to go to the crib."
The junior transfer receiver set the tone for Saturday’s game with a 100-yard kickoff return on the first play of the night. Just one Golden Eagle player touched Williams, who shook off the tackle near the UA 35-yard line and sprinted the rest of the way for the score.
It’s the eighth 100-yard kickoff return in Alabama history and the first since Tyrone Prothro against Kentucky in 2004.
"I knew it was going to be there, I just had to hit it," Williams said.
He struck again in the fourth quarter with an 83-yard return for a score to set a school record for most kick returns for a touchdown in a game.
"He always wants to play on special teams," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "He wants to do as much as he can to help the team. I call guys like him...a dawg."
Williams does love playing special teams, but there's a reason for that.
""I just love football, so I'm trying to stay on the field as long as possible," Williams said.
The decision to leave the Buckeyes for Alabama didn’t guarantee Williams a starting spot. After all, the Alabama receiver room was loaded with 5-star athletes.
Williams played with the Buckeyes for two seasons but totaled just 266 yards on 15 receptions. Already in four games at Alabama, Williams has 12 catches for 299 yards.
"I feel like I've adjusted pretty well," Williams said. "I just had to come in here and go to work. I had a great summer with the guys and great chemistry."
Williams is the second-leading Alabama receiver, and he's got the two longest receptions so far. The first was a 94-yard catch in the season opener against Miami. The second was an 81-yarder Saturday. He sprinted past two Southern Miss defensive backs, caught the ball in stride and ran away for his second touchdown of the game.
It wasn’t all great for Williams, though. On his second kick return, he let the ball bounce past him and he was tackled inside the 5-yard line. Later, he bobbled a for-sure touchdown pass right into the hands of a Southern Miss defender for Alabama’s first turnover of the night.
"I could have made the pass a little better for (Jameson), but the thing about Jameson is immediately after he came to me and said, 'my fault,'" Alabama quarterback Bryce Young said of the interception. "For him to say that shows what kind of competitor he is."