TEMPE, Ariz. – Hearing his name called on Day 2 of the NFL Draft fulfilled a dream for new Arizona Cardinals cornerback Brandon Williams, one that still didn’t seem real a week later when he arrived for the start of a three-day rookie minicamp.
Wearing a Cardinals hat and red golf shirt with the team’s logo emblazoned on the upper left corner, Williams was all smiles answering questions from the media during his introductory press conference.
Williams’ tone, though, turned serious when asked about his two young daughters back home in Texas and what that moment last Friday night meant to him.
“Just the fact that I know now I’ll be able to take care of my baby girls; and that’s the most ever-warming thing to me,” he said Thursday. “Football is what I do, but being able to actually provide for my girls, that’s the only thing that can really bring tears to my eye. It’s why I do it for, my baby girls.”
Williams’ two daughters are Serenity and 2-year-old Lila.
Williams transferred to Texas A&M after his freshman year at Oklahoma to be closer to his oldest daughter, Serenity, who is 7.
Balancing fatherhood with school and football was difficult, according to Williams.
“Very hard because the sacrifice I had to make of not seeing them like I want to,” he said. “I understood that at a young age because since high school it was like that. I was never able to spend a lot of time with them, but the time I did spend with them, it meant a lot.”
The Cardinals expect Williams to come in and compete at cornerback right away, perhaps even push to be the starter opposite Patrick Peterson. Of course, a lot of that will depend on how quickly Williams grasps the playbook and, more importantly, the position.
Williams has only one year of experience playing cornerback, having made the switch from running back his senior year.
With only 12 games under his belt, Williams impressed scouts and ultimately the Cardinals, who drafted him in the third round.
“I think when you look at his history and see that he comes from a small town in Texas, and you talk to him, you can tell he’s one of those guys that all he knows is to work,” general manager Steve Keim said after selecting Williams with the 92nd overall pick. “He’s a little raw, but the physical tools are off the charts and the passion and love for the game is off the charts. If I’m betting on one (draft pick), this is a guy that I’m going to get excited about.”
Williams will likely see immediate playing time with the first-team defense in offseason workouts considering both Peterson and Justin Bethel are rehabbing from recent surgery.
Meanwhile, Williams’ daughters remain in Texas, but he hopes the three are reunited soon.
“I’ll be able to fly them up (to Arizona),” he said, “and hopefully down the line, once I get settled in, maybe they can come stay with me.”
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