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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Zahir Williams, DB, Missouri Valley College

Zahir Williams, DB, Missouri Valley College
Zahir Williams the former defensive back from Bryant recently transferred to Missouri Valley College. Check out this interview with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Zahir Williams
  • Position: DB
  • College: Missouri Valley College (transfer from Bryant University)
  • Height: 6’0
  • Weight: 195 lbs 
  • Twitter: @ZWilliams_8

1.What sets you apart from other defensive backs?

Just like every defensive back, we are all super  competitive. What sets me apart from the rest is that my game is very versatile. I can play any position in the defensive backfield. My knowledge of the game itself stands out. I am able to understand offensive schemes easier than most because I played quarterback for multiple years growing up. This allows me to make plays all over the field or easier to cover receivers down the field.

2.If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

If I could hang out with any football player for a day, it would be Antonio Brown. The amount of time and hard work he puts into his craft will pay off for anyone. I would love to train and learn more from him as well as line up against him throughout the day so we could compete against each other as we play on opposite sides of the ball. 

3.What is your mindset when you are on the football field?

My mindset on the field is that I can’t be beaten. I feel unbeatable every time I lace up my cleats. It’s just the competitive edge I have that keeps me going. At the same time, I always encourage my teammates to have that same mentality as I do at all times. 

4.What is a moment in your football career that improved you as a football player?

A moment that I will never forget in my football career that improved me as a player was in high school after my performance at a Rutgers University camp going into my senior season. I was named one of the top 5 defensive backs at the camp that day. After that afternoon, there were articles and forums posted from multiple journalists and sportswriters and in the articles, they would say how much I stood out amongst some of the top recruits at that camp. Every time a coach would turn around, I would be taking another rep. They were super impressed with how many reps I was getting at the camp and loved my confidence lining up against these guys. At that moment, I knew I could compete at a high level. These comments solidified my confidence I already had to go into my senior season which resulted in a first-team all-city and all-state senior season. That season I helped lead my team to a championship and had a momentum-changing interception late in the game. Right after this game, I landed my first division 1 offer from Bryant University. 

5.What role do you hope to have if you make it into the NFL?

I am a team player. Wherever I fit best in the program is where I will perform my best. I would like every team and coach to know that I will do whatever is asked to make the team better.

6.What is your favorite workout?

My favorite workout would have to be conditioning. Ever since joining track in high school, I fell in love with running. As a defensive back, it is mandatory to always be highly conditioned and ready to line up again after covering a deep route and to be prepared to do it again for multiple plays in a row. Conditioning is the ultimate game-changing factor.

7.What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

Growing up, I started off playing basketball and baseball. With me being the only boy in the house living with two sisters, I didn’t get as much rough play as any young boy would love. I would foul a lot in basketball only because I loved to be physical. I just knew these sports weren’t physical enough for my liking. So there was one night I was up late watching football around 2 or 3 am and I knew at that very moment that was something I wanted to do. I ran to my parent’s room and woke them up as I was crying and yelling telling them to sign me up for football. And of course, my mother was scared for me to play because it was a contact sport and she didn’t want her only son to get hurt. Luckily my dad convinced her to sign me up and I was the happiest kid in the world when they took me out for my first practice with Kips Bay Mustangs. 

8.What is a skill that you have that you think translates into the NFL well?

My work ethic is amazing and I don’t accept anything but perfection. I show up every day looking for something to get better at and my energy is contagious to the team.

9.What has been your biggest challenge in life?

My biggest challenge in life is always being known as the undersized kid that has a lot of talent. Throughout my entire career, I would always hear that I’m too small and I won’t ever be able to play at the next level. Having to face this challenge since young has made me believe in myself so much more because I knew if there was nobody that believed in me, then I know I believe in myself. With that being said, every level of the game, I have proved every doubter wrong and I love the feeling of achieving things that no one would ever think would be possible for me like starting on my high school varsity team or receiving a division 1 scholarship or even being a starter for a division 1 program. What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. 

10.What would a team get in a player like you?

Any team would get a very passionate and hardworking player that is ready to do whatever to make the team improve with tons of energy. They would also be getting a ball hawk defensive back that can cover range as well as a great tackler. Someone that has a very high IQ of the game. 

11.What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

Whether I or my team is right or wrong, I always maintain positive energy on the field. My energy is always ecstatic and I am very verbal on the field with my teammates so they can have the same attitude as I do know we will always be the best group on the field and never be dominated by the opposing team.

12.What are your favorite moments from your football life?

Some of my favorite moments from my football life would be the day I signed my letter of intent to play division 1 football as well as the week I knew I would have my first career start. These two moments have both encourages me that this is not the end and I have more to do. It just boosted my confidence and turned me into the player I am today.

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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