"The Unknown Soldier" DT Nicholas "Nick" Williams - Samford U.



I would like for you to meet today's Unknown Soldier - DT Nick Williams, Samford University. Nick played basketball throughout high school and didn't take up football until his senior year. Typical of some small college athletes who love and give all their devotion to one sport, only to find out at the end of their junior year that they weren't going to be good enough for the next step and should try something else (football. Sound familiar? For Nick, the lack of football experience would lessen his recruiting opportunities for the larger schools, most just weren't interested in the senior with little to go on. That didn't faze Nick though, because he was just fine with enlisting with Samford to play football and be close to home (Birmingham, Alabama).

Nicholas "Nick" Williams

Position: Defensive End/Defensive Tackle

Height: 6'4

Weight: 310

Class: Redshirt Senior

Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.

High School: Minor HS

2011: Started all 11 games on the defensive line . . . tallied 23 tackles, including 17 solo stops . . . had three tackles for a loss . . . had four tackles against Georgia Southern . . . tallied four tackles against Western Carolina . . . had three tackles at The Citadel.

2010: Saw action in all 11 games . . . had nine tackles, including four solo stops . . . forced one fumble . . . had four tackles, including one solo stop, against Newberry College . . . forced a fumble at Chattanooga.

2009: Saw action in seven games . . . tallied three tackles, all solo stops . . . had one tackle against Jacksonville . . . produced two tackles against Miles College.

2008: Redshirted . . . participated on Samford’s scout team.

High School: Totaled 25 tackles as a defensive lineman . . . also played offensive lineman, registering two pancake blocks . . . had two inter­ceptions, scoring one touchdown . . . ­recorded one fumble recovery and knocked down two passes.

Personal: Born Feb. 21, 1990 . . . son of Frederick and Natalie Williams . . . majoring in public administration.

Nick's Draft Profile

National Football

Does Samford's Nicholas Williams possess the ability to play on the defensive line in the NFL? Phil Savage

Background: Nicholas will be a 23-year-old NFL rookie for the 2013 season. He was a two-way offensive and defensive lineman at Minor HS (Birmingham, AL). He then redshirted his first season at Samford in 2008. In ’09 and ’10, he primarily served as a backup, but did participate in 18 of 22 regular season games and recorded 12 total tackles. In ’11, he became a full-time starter and registered 23 total tackles, 3 tackles-for-loss and 2 sacks. Through the first three games of the 2012 season, he has 8 total tackles and 2 sacks. He is a Public Administration major and will graduate in December.

Tapes Viewed: 2011-Auburn, 2012-Furman, West Alabama

Summary: Nick is a two-year starter at defensive tackle for Samford. He only played one season of high school football after spending most of his athletic career in basketball. After signing with the Bulldogs, he redshirted the 2008 season and then played as a backup for two years before assuming a starting role in the 2011 season.

Essentially, 2012 is only his third year of legitimate football participation. He has a smooth-muscled frame with an athletic lower body and he carries his 310lbs very well. He has long arms and should be able to add more bulk in the future.

Nick generally aligns as a 3-technique in their 4-3 front and will use a right-handed 3-point stance on the left-side and a 4-point stance on the right-side. He is physically strong and is able to fend off blockers by locking out his arms and widening his base.

He has more strength than explosion, but part of that is because he is so raw. He appears to be more interested in "looking" and trying to recognize plays and schemes rather than cutting it loose and creating havoc. This player handles his body well athletically and is rarely on the ground.

On direct runs, he does tend to catch blocks and uses his natural strength to hold his ground. On runs away, he is agile enough to get down the LOS and seems to run easily in space.

As a pass rusher, he is capable of stunting and looping up front. He has recorded a sack in each of the first two games in 2012 when he was able to come free and pursue the QB in space. He has the tools to improve, but needs to be more violent with his hands and finish when he draws a bead on the QB.

For the NFL, he is a developmental prospect with excellent size, athletic ability and upside potential. He fits as a 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE, but not as a Nose in either scheme.

Combine Results

Hand: 10 1/4"

Arm: 33 1/8"

40 yard dash: 4.94 (4.86 Proday!)

10 yard split: 1.63

Bench Press: 28

Broad Jump: 9'3" (111")

Verticle Jump: 33.0

3 Cone Drill: 7.55

Short Shuttle 20 yard: 4.65

Explosion Number:


SQD (Speed/Quickness-Differential): 0.29

M 10: 7.86

Nick said in an interview at the Combine that he had talked to all 32 teams.

Defensive lineman Nick Williams impresses scouts during Samford Pro Day

Samford wide receiver Riley Hawkins, safety Alvin Hines II and defensive lineman Nicholas Williams, as well as Miles College's Jordan Lewis all worked out for the scouts Tuesday morning. Williams also performed for scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month.

"Even though I had been to the combine, I wanted to come out today and compete in this as well," Williams said. "I ran quicker today than I did at the combine, which is what I wanted to do. I think I performed well today."

Williams ran a 4.86, 40-yard dash at the Pro Day.




Draft Zone Spotlight: Nick Williams, DT, Samford University

It didn’t matter how many people were trying to stop big Nick Williams at Samford University. Just like this photo above, Nick was a force to block and a terror for quarterbacks.

Nick reminds me of DT Kawann Short, with better measurable athleticism. I hope he makes it at the next level, and if the Broncos take a late round chance on him, I wouldn't be too sad...

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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