I had the great opportunity yesterday to talk briefly with and do a quick interview with Darius Williams, a 5’10, 195 pound safety from Carson-Newman. Darius Williams played in 10 games in 2019, recorded 29 solo tackles, 36 assisted(65 total), 4 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery and 2 Int’s(8 career). Darius Williams’s honors throughout his college career included the Don Hanson Football All-American, Don Hanson All-Region, D2CCA All-Region and First Team All-SAC.
Darius Williams grew up admiring the legendary Ladainian Tomlinson as a kid, he grew up in Florida as a big Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan and fell in love with the game of football through his frequent trips to Buccaneers games with his father. The Sunday’s with his dad at Bucs games was what eventually had him ask his parents to sign up for the football team at the age of eight, and that love of the game grew as he loved the pure competition and contact that football entailed. Williams began playing football throughout this childhood and at his Northside Christian High School in Florida he was named Blue-Grey All-American, Pinellas County All-Star and the leading tackler among defensive backs in 2014 and 2015.
Williams drew heavy interest from Wake Forest, Missouri, Colgate and Stetson following his high school career, but was never officially offered a scholarship to those schools. So he took a visit to the University of Carson-Newman and immediately fell in love with the culture and atmosphere there, along with the coaches and staff. Following his great career at Carson-Newman I made it a priority to ask him what was his favorite moment from his time there and he told me it was during his sophomore year when him and his team got revenge on the University of Tusculum as they completely dominated them 27-7 in a very muddy, tough gritty game after losing a heartbreaker to them the previous year 31-30 in overtime. Before my interview with Williams I took a look at some of his tape and I noticed his instincts in coverage and his ability to come downhill and deliver big hits. I figured from this that he most likely played multiple positions during his high school and college career’s so I made it a point to ask him that as well as what he thought his best ability was on the field. The answers to both were interchangeable as he told me he’s played safety, running back, both the slot and on the outside as a corner, joker, as well as linebacker throughout his college and high school career’s. He followed up by saying his best ability on the field was playing multiple positions and making an impact anywhere on the field whether its single high, in the box or covering on the outside and he felt he can play anywhere at the next level, similarly to Chauncey Gardner Johnson of the Saints.
At the end of the interview I asked him who was his favorite player(s) right now, and he responded Tyrann Mathieu and Quandre Diggs. I thought it was cool he mentioned Quandre Diggs because not a lot of people mention him and I love underdogs. He responded by saying he loves being in the lab and watching tape and he had spend time watching Diggs and he feels they play the same brand of ball and have similar size. Immediately when he told me he loves watching film I was a fan of his. Half of the battle to becoming successful is being knowledgeable about what you see on the field and in the moment and film is where you accomplish that. I came away from this interview a fan of Darius Williams, he’s an intelligent guy who loves the game and being in the film room looking to improve. While there’s limited tape available on him, from what I saw he possesses very good instincts in coverage with his ability to read the quarterbacks eyes and feel where the throw is going, he’s also is very good getting downhill and putting a shoulder in someone’s chest. I like Williams’s ability in center field in coverage or in the box, or even in the slot in certain situations, his love of the game and desire to want to be in the film room will set him apart from a lot of guys and will impress gm’s and coaches. With the Eagles letting go of Malcolm Jenkins last week the Eagles are very much in need of safety help, and with them being thin in every area of the secondary an instinctual/versatile player like Darius Williams would be a great addition to the team and they should without a doubt consider drafting him come late April.