“I don’t think I’ve got the speeches for it,” Arizona Cardinals undrafted free agent Xavier Williams joked with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM about the proposition of being a pro wrestler someday.
Though he won’t be going to the WWE, the lineman finds his wrestling past especially useful to his football career.
“Really everything from wrestling translates well over to football,” Williams said. “In high school my coaches called it ‘football without pads’. Especially if you’re a lineman. It helps a lot with leverage, body control. A lot of the skills you need to play on defensive line.”
Those skills didn’t impress 31 other teams enough to take a chance on him, which Williams took especially hard after the draft.
“Words really can’t describe it, it was a really heartbreaking kind of time,” Williams said. “It was probably one of the sickest moments of my life. Especially after months of everyone telling you you’re going to get drafted.”
The draft wasn’t the end for Williams, though. He got a call from the Cardinals to work towards a spot on the roster.
“I talked to my brothers, my sister my mom and they were telling me ‘You’ve still got opportunities that most people didn’t get.'” Williams said. “After the heartbreak you realize ‘I’ve got a lot of friends who didn’t get the phone call and didn’t even get a chance to try out’ so I’m still just really blessed just to have this opportunity.”
He plans to channel all of his emotions from going undrafted into making him a great defensive tackle.
“I’ve been proving people wrong my whole career,” Williams said. “Hopefully I can keep doing that and keep working hard.
“I play the game angry. I’m a firm believer that if you play defense… there’s no way you can be happy. You’re going to see double teams, you’re going to have o-lineman scratching you, getting on you, sweating on you. No part of that is a good time, you’ve got to be mad.”