Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams has set the American college football scene on fire.

In just 18 months, he's gone from a newcomer to the country's number one college-level defensive. More than a dozen colleges wanted him for the 2011 US football season.

Jesse signed with the University of Alabama. He's now a member of its famous Crimson Tide team, as well as studying consumer science, international business and sports management.

It's a long way in a very short time for a boy from Brisbane.

Jesse, 20, comes from a basketball-mad family. His move into American football was almost an accident.

"The older brother of a mate was a quarterback with Bayside Ravens (in Brisbane)," Jesse said. "He thought I'd be good at protecting him. I went along to have a look and never looked back".

At 18, Jesse signed with Arizona Western College and spent his first two seasons playing for their team. He fast-tracked his study, allowing him to enrol at the University of Alabama on a mid-year entry at the start of this year.

The 2011 season kicks off in September and already the fans are excited. A training match between the offensive and defensive packs drew 93,000 spectators. Check the Crimson Tide website - everyone knows Jesse.

Jesse attributes his success to "positive attitude, determination, my training ethic - knowing there is someone else who is working harder than me to achieve their dreams makes me work harder and train harder to be the best".

DESCRIPTION: Jesse Williams, Gridiron star