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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Eric Williams, P, University of Montana

Eric Williams the punter from Montana has a monstrous leg, and I am a huge fan of his.

• Name: Eric Williams

• Height: 5110

• Weight: 195

• Position: Punter

• College: University of Montana

• Twitter: @er1cw1lliams

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

• Growing up in Missoula was special because of the role the University plays in the community. Everyone supports the academic programs, and they especially back the athletic teams. Being able to watch the football team during my childhood and then become a part of it with my home town at my back was an experience I’ll always treasure. 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

• Strength and Conditioning, Practice, Film Study. You can’t practice if your body isn’t in good enough shape to perform, and you can’t watch film of practice if you haven’t done the field work yet. You shouldn’t re-start that cycle until you’ve broken down the film. They truly play an integral role in the others. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about not being prepared enough on game days. That’s one of the things that drives me to train and work, especially on the days when you need a little extra kick. 

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• My Freshman year in high school, I was placed on the second tier travel club soccer team. I managed to find every excuse why the coach didn’t like me or I didn’t get a fair shake, but eventually I realized I just wasn’t prepared enough and didn’t perform how I needed to. I vowed to never let myself meet a challenge again without complete preparation and the mental confidence to know I was ready to perform my best. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• I think my teammates appreciate my everyday consistency the most. I try to be consistent in my effort, my passion, my work ethic, my leadership, and my performance in every aspect of my life, team oriented or not, and hopefully that shows through to them. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

• Probably either Dante Pettis when he was at UW or Cooper Kupp at EWU. Both were incredible in their collegiate careers and at the next level as well. 

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

• I plan on going into Equity Research at a large bank like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan. Through my internships I’ve found I have a real cognitive passion for that field and I hope to pursue it after football. 

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

• My room first, because that’s where I begin and end every day. Then my car, because my mode of transport being clean and proper keeps my mind clear before activities. My desk last; my thought process can be tangential at times and leads to a cluttered work space. 

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• One family member; hopefully their family members would be afforded the same choice and made the same decision, leaving no one left in a perilous situation. 

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• Danny in Caddyshack. Although sometimes youthfully misguided at times, he’s got a good heart and works diligently to achieve his goals.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• Growing up i loved football and wanted to play it collegiately but was never big, strong, or fast enough so I chose to pursue soccer. In high school I suffered a bad leg injury skiing that took nearly a full year to recover from. I wasn’t able to play soccer that fall and had to switch back to kicking footballs. That adversity of having to switch away from my goal turned out to be a massive blessing in disguise. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• My sophomore year we were playing at Cal Poly and I played through a full-on case of influenza. I hit a punt and stumbled backwards and fell right on my back. Luckily it was a fair catch but the film was very embarrassing. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• Probably when Dante Pettis returned a punt for a touchdown against us to tie the PAC-12 record. It was heavily covered by the media and I still get comments about it regularly. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Scholarships by Drake and Future. My best friend and I listened to it every morning at 5AM when we were tryout walk ons trying to make the Montana football team. 

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• An inherent trust in your preparation. It allows your mind to be clear on game day and lets you play to your full potential. 

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

• Abraham Lincoln. It’s a cliche answer but he’s a true American success story and he overcame a lot in his life to become one of our nations greatest leaders. 

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

• I’ve never been a big dancer but probably something fun and lighthearted like “The Roxbury”

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• I always loved how Danny Amendola played. He was gritty and tough, not overly flashy and did everything he could to help the team. Never got a lot of love or respect publicly. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. People can form their own opinions of who they like or don’t like but to a greater extent you can control others respect for you based on your actions and your character. 

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• I don’t know if feel for is the right term but I’ve always respected the way Ryan Leaf turned his life around after throwing away what many people considered to be a very promising NFL career. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to lose. I had a coach tell me once that everyone loves to win, but the people who are the most successful are driven by an intrinsic fear of losing, and use that fear to help them prepare and compete on a daily basis. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

•My parents for sure. They’ve instilled all of the qualities in me that have made me successful thus far and I owe everything I have to them. 

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NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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