Our latest Diamond in the Rough featured athlete is 2026 WR William Lai. He currently attends Biloxi High School, in Biloxi, Mississippi. William attended our most recent Elite Camp in Slidell, Louisiana, at Northshore High School, and he showed us some pretty impressive things. There are many things about his game that are crucial to a team, but the one that sticks out the most to me is his speed. He will only be a sophomore this upcoming season and stays focused on the field and in the classroom. He has a 4.0 GPA at the moment, which just shows how he balances school and football very well. At our camp, like I said, his speed was off the charts, with a 4.55 40-yard-dash. Lai does a lot of his damage as a slot receiver, but is very versatile on the football field as an athlete.
I had the chance to ask William some questions about his life and his football journey, and he gave some very interesting answers…
What age were you when you started playing football and why did you continue to do so over the years?
“I started playing football at 12 going into 7th grade and doing so it kept me away from getting in trouble and being bad.”
Do you play any other sports or is it just football for you?
“I run track (4×1,4×2,200m,100m).”
What are your biggest strengths as a wide receiver?
“My biggest strengths are my 4.5 speed, my change in direction, and knowing my leverages.”
What are some things to improve on this offseason?
“One of the biggest things to improve on as a receiver are my hands. Not only that, just overall improve on everything and stay consistent.”
How would you describe a good teammate?
“Always having my back, pick me up when I’m on the ground, and push me harder.”
Has the recruiting process already begun for you or is it just starting to ramp up with interests from colleges? Or why is it that a college should begin to recruit you?
“It is just starting to ramp up with interests from colleges. I feel that a college should begin to recruit me because I’m a hardworking student, on the field and in school. I’m not a quitter, I always pick myself up.”
What are your goals for this upcoming season?
“My Goals for this season is 1. to beat Ocean Springs and Gulfport, our rivals. 2. Show out in all my games. 3. Get crazy film to showcase my talent to colleges. 4. Make it to the playoffs twice in a row.”
How is it for you being so young on such a high level team and now starting to receive some college interest?
“It’s great to know that I’m very young on such a high level team. It gives my name out there to colleges and more recognitions. It also feels good to start receiving some college interest young because it gives me and the colleges more time to know about my talent and me starting recruiting young rather than starting it later junior and senior year.”
Are there any players you model your game after or watch their tape?
“I model my game after Texas A&M Evan Stewart and NFL Rookie from Houston Tank Dell. I love watching how shifty and versatile they are. Most of the moves and drills I watch them do are what I use in practices and games.
How do you balance school and football?
“I don’t try to overthink in either. First I do my school, study, do homework. Once I finish that, I go practice and football. I don’t like to over power my self in football, cause it might cause problems in school.”
How was it getting the opportunity to perform at our Elite Camp that was held at Northshore High School?
“It was great getting the opportunity to perform at the camp. I got better, had more experience in 1on1 reps and catch from the different quarterbacks.”
How would your teammates describe you?
“My teammates describe me as a speedy kid, bulky strong and shifty, a hard worker, and a freak athlete. They love to call me “Speedy Will” because every time I get the ball, I just pass by the defenders like nothing, and too fast for them to chase me down, especially on a jet-sweep.”
William Lai has speed and route-running ability that will one day allow him to be a major contributor for a college offense. He has the potential to be great on the football field, his tape proves that.