James "Froggy" Williams began his football career at Waco High School. He starred on the 1945 co-championship team that tied with Highland Park 7-7 in front of 45,790 fans at the Cotton Bowl. Williams lettered four years at Rice (1946-1949) as offensive/defensive left end and kicker. As a freshman, he played on the 9-2 team that defeated Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. He was a consensus All-American and captained the 1949 Owls, who topped a 10-1 season with a Cotton Bowl victory over North Carolina. In that game, Williams scored a touchdown and kicked three extra points. Williams was named one of the 1950 Classic's outstanding players. The two-time All-SWC pick was also selected to the Cotton Bowl's All-Decade team for the 1950's. Williams was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.