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Willie Williams: The Untold Story


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Willie Williams: The Untold Story

By: NFL Draft University

January 13, 2009 at 3:37 AM

Willie Williams

The story of Willie Williams is a long and well documented one. It all started in high school when Williams, a prized recruit, parade-all American, and the #1 rated LB in the country by almost every news outlet, was charged with a variety of small crimes throughout his high school career. These crimes included 11 arrests and despite his undeniable talent, schools were questioning his character and ability to be a student-athlete.

The University of Miami decided to give Williams a shot after he posted a score of 1100 on his SAT, proving he has the smarts to excel in the classroom. However, on the day that he declared he'd be attending Miami, his arrest record was made public and the scrutiny that followed haunted both Williams and the University throughout the next two seasons. After sitting out the 2004 season with a knee injury, Williams played sparingly in 2005, mostly on special teams, but displayed an incredible set of speed and athleticism for his position.

With the frenzy of his past still following him and the talent Miami had at the LB position, Williams decided to transfer to Pearl River Community College for the 2006 season and then quickly changed his mind to attend West Los Angeles College, playing a total of 4 games there. In 2007, Willie wanted to try the Division 1 ranks again and transferred to the University of Louisville. However, by the fourth week of the season, Williams was back in the news after being dismissed by the team for a variety of incidents including possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence, and driving without a license.

2008 was Williams' final chance, his final hope to restore his dream of an NFL career. After being denied an appeal from the NCAA to restore his eligibility to play at Division 2 Glenville State, his final transfer took him to Union College in Kentucky, a school that competes at the NAIA level. During the 2008 season, Williams led Union College with 150 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. These are staggering numbers for a player in his first season with a new team.

Not only has Williams proved himself on the field, but he also seems to be renewing some people's faith in him off the field as well. NFLDraftU provides you with the following interview with Willie, a truly changed man:

Ian Kenyon: What are your current measurements? Height? Weight? 40?

Willie Williams: 6'3, 230, 4.50, I am training hard every day and as a result, I expect to run a very fast 40 time and be very competitive with the performance drills I will perform at Pro Day.

Ian Kenyon: Is there any player in the NFL that reminds you of yourself?

Willie Williams: I consider myself like Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher; like Lewis and Urlacher, I bring intensity and passion to the game and try to make every play on the field no matter where it may happen. I have the energy to go hard every down and be around every play.

Ian Kenyon: What do you feel are your biggest strengths?

Willie Williams: Speed, quickness, balance, explosiveness to make plays from anywhere on the field, humbleness, and the ability to learn from mistakes, overcome and go forward

Ian Kenyon: What do you think will be the toughest part of trying to translate to the NFL from college?

Willie Williams: The speed of the game and overcoming youthful misconduct and the perception that I am just another bad person who will bring discredit to the NFL and the community - this is not the case. My goal is to demonstrate through my deeds that through my maturation process things have changed for the better.

Ian Kenyon: What are your hobbies off the field?

Willie Williams: Playing video games, going to the mall, and more importantly spending time with my daughter and family.

Ian Kenyon: As an elite high school recruit, how did you react after being dismissed from Miami? What have you learned from these experiences? And how do you plan on convincing teams that you are past those times? What kind of a person is Willie Williams now?

Willie Williams: (on the dismissal) - Asking for a release from the U of Miami was heartbreaking because growing up in Miami, being a hurricane was a life long dream for me and my family. I was grateful to the Miami family for the opportunity, but unfortunately, things did not workout as planned. At 18 years old and living in the city where I grew up, there were many distractions that prevented me from being at my best; it was more difficult for me to focus on the task at hand. Since my days at the U of Miami, I am older, wiser and have learned from past mistakes and now look forward to another chapter in my life - a chapter that is filled with positive outcomes for everyone involved.

(on what he's learned) - I have learned that one cannot take life for granted, even at a young age because nothing is promised to you. For me, God has granted me another opportunity and I do not intend to waste it - I want to be a positive influence in this life and my intent is to be a positive impact within my community as well on the playing field; you will see.

(on convincing teams) - I realize two facts to be constant: (1) not everyone will believe that I have turned the corner for the better and (2) not every NFL team will provide me with an opportunity to play football. For those people and NFL teams who are interested; I have turned the corner and have demonstrated this fact over the past two years. I cannot hide my past, even if I could, I would not because I realize that no one is perfect and I take responsibility for my conduct. As a young man, I would ask and pray that all concerned withhold any judgments about me based on my conduct as a young teenager because those activities do not reflect who I am or who I will eventually become down the road. As I take full responsibility for my previous misconduct, I also take responsibility for my future knowing that people other than myself are counting on me to do the right thing. I look forward to demonstrating to society that I am sincere in my efforts and beliefs that all things are possible. I want everyone to know that I have moved forward and look to be a positive force and responsible person within our society.

(on who he is now) - I am a very humbled, fun loving, and loyal young man who unfortunately made mistakes in my past. However, I have kept my faith knowing that as human beings, we are not perfect and will fall short in life. The measure of a person, in my opinion, should not be determined by how many mistakes one makes, but rather if this person can seek forgiveness and move forward. I have made many apologies for my past misconduct and that is all I can do other than move forward and be a positive influence. Right now, I know that my life means more to me than ever before because I have a daughter that is counting on me to be a positive role model and influence in her life. I have come a long ways since my days as a Miami youth and look forward to the rest of the journey as a productive member of society..

Ian Kenyon: After playing at many different levels D1, D2, NAIA, etc., how can you compare the levels of competition? What would you say to teams if they downplay your great stats this year by it being against NAIA competition?

Willie Williams: Football is football; players may be bigger at the higher echelon schools, but players at the D2 and NAIA schools have the same desire to play hard and excel. Teams may downplay my great stats, but I would ask that they look closely at my speed, explosion, balance, and ability to get to the ball. No matter where you play football, making over 150 tackles, not including the all East Coast all star game where I had 14 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble, is excellent. NFL teams should not discount this fact and only see it as my ability to play the game.

Ian Kenyon: Who has been your biggest influence in your football career?

Willie Williams: I consider my biggest influences to be my mom, daughter, and father (now deceased). My father coached me and had a very positive influence in my life not only on the football field but every aspect of it. My hope and prayer now is to make him proud of me as a player and young man.

Ian Kenyon: Who is the toughest player you've ever faced?

Willie Williams: Jerry Seymour, RB, Glenville State.

Ian Kenyon: What is the best experience you've had at any school on the football field?

Willie Williams: Competing in the East Coastal All Star game. I had a chance to play against the top talent and demonstrated my ability to perform at a top level. I had a monster game and continued to impress the NFL scouts in attendance.

Ian Kenyon: Which areas of your game do you feel need improvement the most?

Willie Williams: I believe that improvement should come in the area of interceptions; I am pretty good at creating turnovers by way of fumbles, but I want more interceptions.

Ian Kenyon: What feedback have you gotten from scouts?

Willie Williams: Scouts say that I am explosive, fast, and can create plays from anywhere on the field. I hope to have numerous NFL scouts at my Pro Day; I have much to offer NFL teams in of my football talents. I want to conclude this interview by asking people to be patient with me for I am a young man on the rebound. I have made positive strides to learn from my mistakes and I have surrounded myself with positive influences that will enhance my maturation process whereby the next chapter in my life will be better than the last.

Let me start this off by saying that i heard that Willie Williams ran a late 4.4 40 at his proday.

2008 stats: 150 Tackles, 19.5 TFL, 11.5 Sacks, 14 QB Hurries, 5 FF

Let me start it off by saying Willie Williams will be a UDFA....... If you read the draft and freeagent section you would see that i like this guy talent wise...... Talent wise Willie Williams can be compared to any LB in this draft including Aaron Curry....

I know Willie Williams was a bone head when he was younger but it seem like the has matured...... I hope TD does some reseach of the kid at Union College .... I would love it if we invite Willie Williams to camp as a UDFA,..... Make him prove himself.

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if he has turned the corner then he could be the steal f the draft, what impressed me in that interview was how eloquent he was, he wasnt some crackhead who couldnt string more than one sylabble words together. also it looks like he will excel on special teams so he can always do that whilst he learns the position. i wonder if TD has had a look at him and what he thinks.

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yea.... it seems like the things he has been thru has humbled the guy....... Willie Williams was a Huge idiot so he does have that big buyer beware sticker on his forehead, but as a UDFA that price tag is well worth it if TD thinks that the guy has grown up.....

I remember doing the super bowl Darnell Dockett said that it took almost losing everything for him to grow up.... Darnell Dockett talked about how he stole cars when he was younger and how he was charged with theft when he was attending FSU... Darnell Dockett hasnt been in trouble since then.

I want to see if this Willie Williams can really get his act together.... If so, Willie Williams will make some GM lookreally good for finding this UDFA gem... Hopefully its Thomas Dimitroff.

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700618.jpg

Willie Williams

Senior

Linebacker

6-foot-4 / 220 pounds

Miami, Fla. / Carol City

2008 Highlights: Named to the All-Mid-South Conference East First Team … Set single-season record for tackles with 144 ... Set program record for tackles in a game with 22 at then-No. 25 Shorter (Ga.) on Oct. 23, 2008 ... Became the 11th player in program history to record 100 tackles in a season, reaching the plateau at then-No. 25 Shorter (Ga.) on Oct. 23, 2008 ... Recovered a fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown against Cumberlands (Ky.) on Oct. 11, 2008 ... Recorded season-high 18 tackles against Cumberlands (Ky.) on Oct. 11, 2008 ... Named the NAIA Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 8, 2008 ... Named Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 8, 2008 ... Recorded 13 tackles (six solos), 2.5 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks and two fumble recoveries in a 27-21 win at Lambuth (Tenn.) on Sept. 6

2008 Statistics

Tackles: 150

TFL: 19.5

Sacks: 11.5

ff: 5

fr: 4

Here is a story from Rivals.com: Willie Williams

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if we could get him as a UDFA i would definitely bring him in. low risk-high reward. and i for one believe that he has matured after reading that. so id love to see him here too jbo. thanks for posting.

-Mr. Offseason

Exactly, low risk in the sense that even if he went back down that road, it's not like we'd take a $10m cap-hit...

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Remember him from the Canes, didn't follow him after his dismissal, but he was a great talent ... a very hard hitting player with the nose for the ball ... very disruptive and still good in coverage. I think he led the team in special team tackles in his RS-FR season and played backup for Jon Beason. I'd love to give him a shot at the NFL, maybe he surprises everybody.

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Remember him from the Canes, didn't follow him after his dismissal, but he was a great talent ... a very hard hitting player with the nose for the ball ... very disruptive and still good in coverage. I think he led the team in special team tackles in his RS-FR season and played backup for Joe Beason. I'd love to give him a shot at the NFL, maybe he surprises everybody.

those miami linebackers sure can play. beason is a stud now.

-Mr. Offseason

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Remember him from the Canes, didn't follow him after his dismissal, but he was a great talent ... a very hard hitting player with the nose for the ball ... very disruptive and still good in coverage. I think he led the team in special team tackles in his RS-FR season and played backup for Jon Beason. I'd love to give him a shot at the NFL, maybe he surprises everybody.

yup .. i remember reading Jon Beason praising Willie Williams talent.... Jon Beason said he wish he had the physical talents as Willie Williams..(during Beason the U day)

I want to see what this guy can do.

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Great story, sounds like he would be a great pickup, hopefully he doesnt sneak in the last round of the draft and TD gives him a shot as a UDFA. i believe in giving people second chances, especially if they seem sincere, maybe the fact that he has a daugther has made him realize that it is not about him any more.

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yup .. i remember reading Jon Beason praising Willie Williams talent.... Jon Beason said he wish he had the physical talents as Willie Williams..(during Beason the U day)

I want to see what this guy can do.

Hope he is under our radar. I really enjoyed reading on him and he seems like a good player. Could be a huge steal.

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Its obvious he hasn't changed a bit. Your career is on the line and you still get caught doing stuff you shouldnt be doing. Sounds like Chris Henry v2. I bet the Bengals are already on the phone with him.

It seems as if those bad choices happened in his teenage years and early in his college career, it has not happened later in his life, nothing has happened recently, so what are talking about his career on the line. He didnt pull a Andre Smith, or a B.J. Raji right before the draft.

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It seems as if those bad choices happened in his teenage years and early in his college career, it has not happened later in his life, nothing has happened recently, so what are talking about his career on the line. He didnt pull a Andre Smith, or a B.J. Raji right before the draft.

haha thats because he wasnt invited ;)

but seriously, we have a slim chance of getting him, Its a case of who reaches for him....

if he goes UDFA, then its who he likes the most

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