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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: DJ Williams, CB, Utah State University

DJ Williams the shut down cornerback from Utah State University recently sat down with Jonathan Joyce of NFL Draft Diamonds.

Student-Athlete Profile:

2019 Statistics:

  • GP: 13
  • TK: 72
  • TFL: 3.5
  • INT: 2
  • PD: 7
  • FR: 1
via Pacific Sports Management (YouTube)

You have experience playing both at outside corner and at nickel. Would you say either position is more natural to you than the other?

I would say nickel is a natural position for me out of the two. I started playing the nickel position in Junior College and actually got most of my offers coming out of JC for a nickel. It’s the main position I played in 2018, in my first year at Utah State.

2017 was quite a memorable year for your football career. You earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) first-team All-America honors at defensive back following his sophomore season at Independence (Kan.) Community College. Also, earning first-team all-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC). The team was featured on the third season of the Netflix hit Last Chance U. What was that experience like having cameras around you constantly?

Yeah, that year definitely felt great. Especially coming off the year I had before being cut from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Having the cameras around was pretty normal. I kind of avoided the cameras as much as I could honestly.

What have you taken away the most from Coach Andersen, Coach Orphey and the rest of the Utah State coaching staff?

Coach Orphey and Coach A were definitely a blessing to me on and off the field. Coach O taught me the importance of technique and watching film. He taught me the proper way to watch film as well, instead of just going to the film room to watch good plays I made. Off the field, Coach O always pushed me to be a great human being before anything. It also helped that we shared the same religious belief. Overall, Coach A and Coach O were a blessing to me and I’m thankful they believed in me.

via @USUFootball (Twitter)

What’s the best lesson any coach ever taught you?

My Junior College Head Coach Jason Brown used to tell us something that stuck with me forever which was, “never put your future in another man’s hand.” Which basically just put in my head to always work for what you want instead of sitting around waiting on a handout from somebody.

How has practicing against a potential first-round pick at QB, Jordan Love, these past two years helped improve your game?

It was challenging, which made it very fun. Honestly, we had some great WRs the two years I was at Utah State. Practice was always harder than any game when I was there because of the competition I went against. I believe that Jordan is the best QB in this year’s Draft. I’m very happy he is getting the recognition he deserves. He is a great teammate and friend.

How would you describe your skill-set?

I’m a very versatile DB that can play slot corner, outside corner, and even safety. I know I have some of the best ball skills and tackling ability in this Draft as well.

via Pacific Sports Management (YouTube)

What are three traits a cornerback must possess in order to be successful?

A corner that’s not the biggest like myself has to be able to have great technique, be physical, and have great ball skills. Those are traits I definitely have, but of course, I can definitely work on technique always.

Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?

Honestly, there weren’t any players that I played the were tougher than the WRs I guarded at Utah State in practice my two years there. Utah State has had some great WRs come through the program for sure.

Who is the best player in the NFL today?

That’s a hard one. I’ll have to go with Bobby Wagner because he’s been consistent every year since he’s been in the league. He’s a Utah State guy so, yeah, Bobby Wagner.

via Kos Sports (YouTube)

Is there a current or former NFL player you model your game after?

It’s three players I really study hard: Brent Grimes, Tyrann Mathieu, and Kenny Moore. We all have similar measurables as well.

Is there a dream NFL WR you’d like to line-up one-on-one against or a certain QB you’d like to intercept?

I would love to intercept Tom Brady.

If I’m in Logan on a Saturday night during the Fall, where is the one place I have to eat at?

Kabuki Steakhouse.

Give me your pitch to an NFL GM. Why will DJ Williams be an asset to their organization?

I’m one of the best, versatile DBs in this Draft. I made plays from every position in college. From nickel, outside corner, and safety. I have great ball skills and will do whatever it takes to help my team win. Whether that means playing special teams, nickel, outside corner, it doesn’t matter.

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