DENVER (CBS4) – When it came to the first round pick for the Denver Broncos in this year’s NFL Draft, they went for size, picking up 317 pound Sylvester Williams of North Carolina.
Now Williams is in Colorado and he and CBS4 Vic Lombardi got acquainted while Lombardi showed him around Dove Valley.
Lombardi wanted to know about Williams’ relatively late arrival to football in his life.
“Honestly it was just one of those situations where I never had the right person tell me, ‘Hey, you need to get on that field’ because I thought I wanted to shoot a basketball, I wanted to dribble, I wanted to be like (Michael) Jordan. It was just one of those deals where finally one guy said ‘Sylvester, you need to come and play football.’
“My father had been telling me all along but no one really listens to their parents. I was like ‘Ah, Dad, I want to play basketball,’ ” Williams said.
Williams’ father played football in high school and Williams said he was a great noseguard. His father repeatedly tried to get him on the high school gridiron.
“I wouldn’t listen but finally I gave in and played my senior year. It wasn’t a successful year but when I went to junior college I had a lot of success.”
Still it took a large detour off the field to get Williams to commit to football. He worked at Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, Backyard Burgers and at a factory building radiators.
“I think that factory helped me out a lot, working at that factory and I said, ‘This is not what I want to do.’ Always in high school I said, ‘I want to get a job, I want to get a job’ but when I worked at that factory, I was ‘This is not what I want to do.’
“The answer at that point was to go back to school and play football. When I took that approach I told them I was going to work hard and get where I needed to get.”
And back to school he went, playing for two years in junior college before heading to the University of North Carolina.
Williams’ father was a single dad who raised four children. Williams couldn’t wait to talk to him after the draft.
“He’s very proud. Last night I talked to my father and I said, ‘I did it all for you.’ And I really meant it when I said that. My father told me ‘Son, you don’t have to give me anything. I don’t want you to be small with your money and to play the game of football the way it’s supposed to be played.’
“A lot of people are all about the money side of it. I don’t think about the money side. Like I told my father, it’s not about money, it’s about making a difference.”
While it may not be all about the money, it might be all about the size for Williams. He’s about 317 right now but the Broncos might want him to put on a few pounds. Lombardi threw out a figure of 370.
“I don’t know that I want to be that big. Whatever he (defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio) he asks me to do, I’m going to do but I don’t think he wants me that big, probably 320.”
Whatever his size, Williams says he is just working to make a difference for the team.
Oh and his favorite previous job? Taco Bell.
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