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One-on-One: Jamaal Williams, BYU RB

Thu, Apr 13, 2017

Reese's Senior Bowl: It's almost time for the NFL Draft, what has this process been like for you?
Jamaal Williams: It's just been alright. It's been long, but grateful for the opportunity. Just ready to get to a team and to help produce.

RSB: You leave as BYU's all-time leading rusher. When you stepped on that field as a true freshman did you ever think that you would leave as the all-time leading rusher?
Williams: I had it in my head that I wanted it but I never thought it would really come true but you just gotta stay true to yourself, stay humble, keep grinding and that's how you get it. 

RSB: Well when you really grinded was that Toledo game earlier this year. A school single-game record 286 yards, five touchdowns. That game was a grind for both sides. On the other side, you had Toledo running back Kareem Hunt putting on a show for himself. That was like a battle of the two running backs. Take me back to that game and what your mindset was.
Williams: It's just trying to win the game. Kareem was doing his thing on the other side, scoring and everything. It's just a back-and-forth game so whoever had the ball was pretty much gonna win the game. 

RSB: What was the biggest adjustment from you going from Fontana, California to the mountains of BYU and you're starting as a true freshman.
Williams: Not really an adjustment, just a lot more people in the stands, that's all it really was. If you really know football and you've been playing the way you've been playing and taking the advice of the coaches who are there now, they're gonna make you better so you just gotta be ready for it and work hard. 

RSB: What about the coaches? You went through a coaching change your senior year. Ty Detmer comes in as the offensive coordinator. As a senior leader on the team, how did you adjust to the coaching changes?
Williams: You just gotta talk to them and let them know where they're at. You just gotta be on the same page. Luckily, Sitake and everybody was really cool about it and having me there for my last year. We talked about it way before I got back to BYU so it was all good. 

RSB: You got back to BYU because you had to sit out the 2015 season. I'm sure you had to address that with every NFL team that you've talked to. What is the story behind that 2015 season?
Williams: It's just I broke the honor code. I just had a girl in my room. 

RSB: As simple as that?
Williams: Yup 

RSB: Did you ever think of leaving BYU, especially with the coaching change?
Williams: I'm loyal to the people who give me my first chance so BYU's the only team that really gave me a chance to play so that's the team I'm gonna play for. 

RSB: You also have a lot of support from your mother. Every time I see something Jamaal Williams related on Twitter, your mom's always there to retweet it.
Williams: Just grateful for a mom that cares a lot and wants to support her kids in every thing that they do and she's been doing it forever and I'm just grateful to have her. I love her and I'm just really glad to have a great mother like that. 

RSB: She was a sprinter at UCLA back in the day so who's faster in a straight line, you or your mother?
Williams: Me.

RSB: Easy answer?
Williams: Mhm. We've been through this already. 

RSB: During the Reese's Senior Bowl week you're walking around with the colored, tie-dye fanny pack. You have an outgoing and fun personality, tell me the story behind the fanny pack.
Williams: I just got a fanny pack because I'm very forgetful. It's pretty much wallet. That's just pretty much it.  

RSB: Tell me about the experience of having an NFL staff as your coaches.
Williams: I was coached by the Cleveland Browns. It was grateful to be coached by NFL coaches and to see what they do and just have a little piece of it for three days is cool. In those three days, we had a lot, but at the same time, you just gotta be ready and be ready for the adjustments to go into the next step. 

RSB: What was your favorite part of the Reese's Senior Bowl?
Williams: Probably at the game. You gotta walk out with the kids. Just little walk-through and showing them off and stuff. I think everything was great, especially the game was good. You get to keep your jersey and everything to hang up for all the memories and the accomplishments you did at the Senior Bowl.

RSB: Where is that jersey now or where's it gonna go?
Williams: It's just gonna be hanged up, framed, you know, the usual. 

RSB: Then you go to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, take us through the comparison of your Senior Bowl experience versus your Combine experience.
Williams: The Combine is just a little more stressful, longer and pretty much just trying to keep you mentally drained and hopefully you can be ready when it's time. But it's really just, you just gotta stay ready and go out there and perform your best. 

RSB: When you're out there performing on the field, we've seen a variety of moves. You have the spin move and the stiff arm. Which one would you rather use?
Williams: Stiff arm. Stiff arm is my first choice.

RSB: What are your strengths and some areas you think you need to improve on?
Williams: I feel like I'm a workhorse. I just keep going and going and I don't let my foot off the gas. Things I can work on is my route running and keeping my pad level low. 

RSB: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Williams: I do not know. Hopefully, still playing. 

RSB: Any idea on where you would like to play, did you have a favorite team growing up?
Williams: I was a Rams fan because my mom's from St. Louis but I'll play anywhere. Wherever I go, I'll be grateful for where I'm at and just wanna help them win games. 

RSB: What is that feeling going to be like on NFL Draft day?
Williams: It'll be ecstatic. Just grateful for a chance and grateful for a team taking a chance on me. Hopefully I won't let em down. 

RSB: Tell me about some of next year's BYU guys that will be going towards the NFL Draft.
Williams: Tejan (Koroma), I know for sure is going to be ready, fair warning. I think Tanner's (Mangum) still got a couple more years but those are three right now that I can think of but there's a lot more that's gonna be ready and be working hard for their dreams. They just gotta keep balling. I'll be watching them for sure this year.