Recently, 104.3 ESPN The Coach’s Daughter Show, was fortunate to have only the second interview given by an amazing man that’s working hard to make his way BACK to the National Football League… a humble Second Chance at a childhood dream.
Karlos Williams, Sr. started playing football as a kid and always had the goal to make it to the NFL. By the time he was in Ridge Community High School in Davenport, FL he was not only excelling at football but also in basketball and track where he placed fifth in the 100 meters at the 2011 FHSAA 3A state championship with a time of 10.7 seconds. His record time as a senior was 10.5 seconds, but Karlos had his sights and focus on football as a Rivals.com five-star recruit and second-best safety and eighth overall best player in his class of 2011. Ironically, he made his most notable mark in NCAA Division I Football and in the NFL… on the OFFENSIVE SIDE of the ball.
Williams signed with Florida State and played on defense as a safety for the first two years, but in the second game of his junior year, the coaching staff told him they were switching him to the running back position which proved to be a successful move! The very first time he carried the ball he scored a touchdown on a 65-yard run. What many of us in the FL panhandle and throughout Seminole Nation know him best for is outstanding playmaking in the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn and especially for his seven-yard fake punt conversion. Williams and FSU finished up as the 2014 National Champion. I love hearing Karlos’s description of how he could hear what everyone was saying and yelling on the sidelines as he ran by (watch/listen to the full interview below).
After Karlos’s senior year in the 2015 NFL draft his dream of playing at the professional level became a reality when he was picked 155th overall in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills. It’s significant to note that the first time he was given the ball in a pro game he also scored a touchdown just as he had done in college. His career started off with success and new records for the young running back, but he was soon plagued with injuries and would miss several games before returning later in the season and he certainly made a comeback in a big way by tying a record for scoring touchdowns in his sixth straight game to start his NFL rookie career. However, several months later in August 2016, he would be released by the Bills for reporting to camp in poor physical condition and ultimately suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He was later assigned to the practice squad for the Pittsburgh Steelers where his brother, Vince Williams* played but Karlos would be found in violation of the substance abuse policy two additional times before the league banned Williams for a minimum of one year in June 2017.
Fast forward to February 2019, after two years of working for Victory Home Repairs Inc. and founding and leading a local youth football program in central FL, the running back is ready to make his resurgence in the NFL. He’s worked diligently to maintain good physical condition and stay on a straight path and has largely been inspired by his family and friends and those that have supported and encouraged him throughout this process. Many athletes who lost their way and lost out in the NFL didn’t have a good ending to their story, but Karlos Williams is getting a second chance, a rebirth of sorts to continue his dream of playing and having a full career at the pro level. The NFL officially reinstated Karlos Williams as a free agent on February 21, 2019.
What I enjoyed the most about talking with Karlos was the passion he had when talking about his seven children including two daughters and five sons. They are his heart and what keeps him going and I was truly inspired by his positive attitude and faith in the future. I put him on the hot seat and asked what team he would like to play for if had the choice, but you will have to listen to the interview to get that answer.
We wish Karlos and his family the best with his new lease on a future in the NFL and will be watching, encouraging and cheering him on in his professional career!
*Derwin James, cousin to Karlos Williams is also in the NFL playing as a safety for the LA Chargers.