Player Profile #62 – CB Aaron Williams

There’s one item that stands out on the resume of University of Texas CB Aaron Williams – over his high school and college careers Williams has blocked 17 kicks and punts. That’s right, 12 blocks in two seasons at McNeil High School in Round Rock, Texas, and then five more in three seasons with the Longhorns.

That’s 17 blocks in five seasons. Most players don’t put up one-quarter of that number of a career.

According to Williams, credit for his remarkable numbers goes to his father Anthony. For years, father and son have done meticulous film study, including special attention to the snapper and kickers of opponents. Anthony Williams played linebacker in college.

“Having a father who has so much football experience is a huge bonus that I try to take advantage of whenever I can,” said Aaron Williams. “Special teams is such an important phase of the game. I go as hard as I can after each kick.”

Here’s the rest of his story.

FAMILY MATTERS

Aaron Williams.

Family – Parents are Anthony and Valynne Williams. Dad played LB at San Francisco State and his uncle Ken Taylor was with the Chicago Bears in their Super Bowl winning season in 1985; in fact, Uncle Ken appears in the Super Bowl Shuffle video. Dad works for Cadence Design Systems, a Silicon Valley firm with some operations in the Austin area. Aaron is the oldest of four children, three boys and one daughter.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 5-feet, 11¾-inch.
  • Weight – 201 pounds.
  • Arm – 31 ½ inches.
  • Hand – 9 ¼ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.61 seconds (4.44 Pro Day.)
  • 20-yard dash – 2.55 seconds (2.48.)
  • 10-yard dash – 1.58 seconds.
  • Bench press – 18 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 37½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 7 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Williams graduated with the class of 2008 from McNeil High School in the Round Rock Independent School District in Round Rock, Texas. A growing suburb of Austin, Round Rock is north of the city on I-35 and MHS had a student enrollment of more than 2,600. Williams played two years for the Mavericks under head coach Robert Wilcox.

He was honored after his senior season, being named a Parade Magazine All-America, and earned designations as All-America, first-team All-Texas by the Associated Press, All-District 14-5A and All-Central Texas. He was second team All-USA by USA Today. The Austin American-Statesman named him to their all-decade team for the 2000s.

He was a two-year starter who played at cornerback, safety, wide receiver and quarterback. His career included 277 tackles, 10 sacks, 5 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 12 blocked kicks and over 600 all-purpose yards and 14 TDs in two seasons.

Williams also won two letters in track at McNeil and set school records in the long jump (23-feet, ½-inch) and triple jump (46-feet, 9 ½ inches.) In the 2007 District 14-5A championships he helped the Mavericks to a first-place finish, scoring points in the 4×200 relay and 4×400 relay, as well a second-place in the 110-meter hurdles (14.28 seconds) and long jump.

FOOTBALL

2007 – In his senior season, Williams had 141 tackles, 10 sacks, 3 INTs and 2 blocked kicks. He also returned 6 kickoffs for a 36.3-yard average and an 88-yard TD return. On offense he had 257 rushing yards on 34 carries with 14 TDs; he caught eight passes for 99 yards and completed two passes for 37 yards.

2006 – In his junior season, he had 136 total tackles, 5 TFL, 2 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries and 10 blocked kicks. He also averaged 19.5 yards on punt returns.

RECRUITING

Williams was rated as the nation’s top cornerback by the recruiting service Rivals and the Austin American-Statesman listed him as the top recruit in the state of Texas. He was offered scholarships by Texas, Baylor, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Southern Cal. He committed to the Longhorns in February 2007.

COLLEGE

Williams majored in youth and community studies at the University of Texas.

Williams played in 37 games over three seasons with 23 starts. He had 106 total tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 INTs, 24 PBU, 6 FF, 1 RF and 5 blocked punts. He was named second-team All-Big 12 defense in 2010.

2010 – He played in 11 games and started nine times at CB and Nickel Back. Williams had 46 tackles and returned 11 punts for 86 yards. Against UCLA, he had 3 tackles, one sack and caused two fumbles, earning national defensive back of the week honors.

2009 – Williams started 13 games at CB, missing one game due to injury (right knee.) He had 44 tackles and 3 INTS. Against Texas Tech, he had 9 tackles, 2 TFL, a PBU and a forced fumble.

2008 – He played in all 13 games, starting once and finishing with 16 total tackles, an INT and four blocked punts. Williams returned his interception 81 yards for a TD. He added 9 special teams tackles and blocked 2 punts against UTEP, and one punt each against Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

 Year

 

G

 

S

Tot.

Tkl.

 

TFL

 

Sks.

 

INT

 

PBU

 

FF

 

RF

Blk.
Kicks
2010

11

9

46

5

1

0

12

3

0

1

2009

13

13

44

6

2

3

9

2

0

0

2008

13

1

16

1

0

1

4

1

1

4

Totals

37

23

106

12

3

4

25

6

1

5

Returned 11 punts for 86 yards and 2 kickoffs for 53 yards; scored 2 TDs on INT returns.

EVALUTION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Outstanding athlete, with top-end speed, agility, quickness and body control, Williams can twist his hips as well as any defensive back prospect in this year’s draft. He does a good job of reading routes and the movements of receivers. He’s able to stay with big, fast receivers because of his own speed and quick feet. On run support he’s pretty solid on the edge and isn’t afraid to take on blockers, although he doesn’t deliver much of a blow. A student of the game who studies tape and is as well prepared as any college defensive back could be.

Weaknesses – He can be overly aggressive in his coverage when he gets fooled by double moves and misdirection, relying on his speed to make up for his mistakes. Williams is not physically strong and that shows in not only his run support, but in coverage as well. He can get pushed around by receivers and does not provide enough pop to have ball carriers looking over their shoulders for him. As good an athlete as he is, he has shown mediocre hands, especially since he gets those hands on so many throws but can’t hold on to them.

Analysis – He really could have used another year at Texas to work on some of the fundamentals of his game. Now, he has to work on those in the NFL spotlight and there are things to do. But the best thing about that for the team that selects him is the type of player they will get. As long as he maintains the approach he showed at Texas, he’ll be a contributor early and often and should have a long career. He might be better at safety than the corner, but it would be a surprise if that move was made as he walked in the NFL door for the first time.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

A scout for an NFC team said – “They’ve had a bunch of corners come out of Texas in the last few years and I think he has the chance to be the best of all of them. He needs help on his footwork and some fundamentals, but he’s got the athletic ability that you can’t teach. He’ll play in the league.”

WHAT HE HAD TO SAY

“My family takes its sports very seriously, especially football. I’ve been breaking down tape with my dad since I was 8. It’s become one of our favorite traditions.”

“Having a father who has so much football experience is a huge bonus that I try to take advantage of whenever I can. Special teams is such an important phase of the game — and it’s the first place I got a chance to play for UT — so I went as hard as I could after each kick.”

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

His father Anthony Williams – “When he started high school, I knew Aaron was good, but I didn’t know if he was Texas good. That spring, he showed the quickness, the closing speed, the toughness to dominate good players. That’s one thing we’ve always talked about: Don’t just do what’s good enough, make the great play.”

Jack Estes, defensive coordinator at McNeil High – “He’s a kid that was never a problem in the classroom, never a problem in the halls, has great work ethic and at the same time has that kind of ability. He has such a good head on his shoulders. He’s not perfect, but I just don’t know what anyone could find to knock him. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s truly an incredible young man.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

It’s hard to see how Aaron Williams wouldn’t fit with just about every team in the league. Had he made the decision to stay at Texas for his final season of eligibility, there’s a good chance he could have elevated himself to the top five or 10 picks in the 2012 Draft. Intangibles are good, physical skills are outstanding. If the Chiefs passed on him in the first round, it’s unlikely he’ll still be there for their pick No. 55 in the second round. If he is and Pioli/Haley are really drafting the best player available, then he’ll be in the discussion.

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