Image Courtesy of the Washington Post
Per Gobbler Country, former Hokie Cornerback/Safety Jimmy Williams has been suspended for the entirety of the 2009 season. Williams was cut by the Falcons following the 2007 season and spent last year out of football. He has had known issues with marijuana use and was suspended for five games in 2008 due to a possession charge in June 2007. After being signed and then released by the 49ers this past spring, Williams has no contract for the 2009 season. After spending two years in Blacksburg with Williams, I thought we should lowlight some points of his career to date.
Williams started his time at Virginia Tech in 2002, eventually earning the starting free safety spot for the 2003 season. At the beginning of 2004, he was moved to cornerback. We all remember his major meltdown in the 2004 season opener when he allowed Reggie Bush to score three touchdowns, the most notable being a 53-yard strike from Matt Leinart that beat him cleanly. Williams recovered nicely to have a strong 2004 season, and moved over to boundary corner in 2005. That season began with high hopes for the Hokies and Williams, but as the season fell apart in November, so did Williams' draft stock. On New Years' Day 2006, Williams was ejected in the first quarter of the Gator Bowl against Louisville. He lost his temper after being beaten by a Hunter Cantwell touchdown pass and made contact with a referee. That incident was often overshadowed by the Marcus Vick Stomping Affair, but it also brought about the emergence of both Brandon Flowers and Macho Harris as strong, reliable corners.
Williams finished that season as a consensus All-American, a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back), and expected to be picked high in the first round of the 2006 draft. Based upon character assessments and on and off-field incidents, Williams fell into the second round to the Atlanta Falcons, where his career never took off as expected. To date, I remember Jimmy Williams as a guy with incredible athleticism, size, versatility, and a terrible attitude. The lack of leadership on that 2005 Tech team lead to the November collapse, and Williams was later sold out as a cancer in that locker room. He was a guy that I met on campus and always seemed to have a bad attitude and cocky demeanor about him. I do feel sorry for him falling so hard on his face, but he's just another example of a kid from the 757 that couldn't let go of a troubled past. Here's a clip of the talent that he's wasted over the last few years.