The FAU cornerback appeared destined to be the next in a line of FAU cornerbacks to continue his football career in the NFL – likely as some team’s draft choice.
An injury forced a detour into Williams’ life plan, however, rendering him a hope-filled spectator for this weekend’s NFL Draft.
“I know everything happens for a reason,” Williams said.
During an October bye-week practice, a teammate fell on Williams’ legs, destroying his right knee.
The injury ended his FAU career, but successful surgery kept Williams’ NFL dreams alive.
“Hard times don’t last forever and the film don’t lie,” Williams said.
FAU’s most complete corner last season, the 5-11, 185-pound Williams’ has the speed to cover smaller receivers, the strength to jam bigger receivers and enough length to disrupt plays.
As a junior Williams recorded 48 tackles and a pick. Last year he added 25 more tackles and one interception in eight games.
The injury kept Williams from participating in the speed and agility portions of FAU’s pro day. Though doctors tell Williams his rehab is slightly ahead of schedule – he’s already running and will begin drills that require change of direction in the coming weeks – he doesn’t expect to be 100 percent healthy until August – well after NFL teams hold their rookie camps and OTAs.
Expectations of being drafted exited Williams’ head a while good. There is some hope than an NFL team will have seen enough from his play the past two seasons to sign Williams as free agent immediately following the draft, ensuing they have first shot at his services once healthy. Most likely, however, Williams will need to prove he moves like he did prior to the injury before an NFL team will make its move on him.
During the process, Williams leaned on the support of former Owl defensive backs Cre’von LeBlanc, Sharrod Neasman, D’Joun Smith and Damian Parms – all of whom are either current or former NFL players.
“All those guys are like big brothers to me,” Williams said.
Williams still expects to get a chance to join his former teammates in the ranks of professional football players.
That likely won’t happen this weekend, but Williams says when his shot comes, he’ll be ready.
“Once I get the opportunity, it’s going to be a show,” Williams said.