The Cadillac Making An Impression

Carnell Williams is having a great time at the Senior Bowl in Mobile and making a strong impression as well.

Mobile, Ala.—It was seven games into his freshman season before Carnell Williams really got the chance to show Auburn fans the type of talent that would be carrying the football for the Tigers.

However, it has only taken three days at the Senior Bowl in Mobile for Williams to show Tampa Bay Buccaneers and South team head coach Jon Gruden all he needs to know about the type of talent that will be running the ball in an NFL franchise's backfield in the near future.

"I get tired of talking about him, hell, I should be his agent," Gruden says with a smile. "I am going to talk him right out of our ballpark. I just like the kid. I like him number one. I feel like I can relate to him.

"I like his willingness to do anything," Gruden continues about Williams' ability on the field. "You know, lineup over here, go over there catch a punt, return a kickoff, pick up this blitz. I like his quickness, the sudden explosiveness. I like his name. I like everything about him."

As much as Gruden, who has made no qualms about noting that he would like to have a shot at Williams with the fifth overall pick in this year's draft, has been enamored with the Cadillac, Williams says he has been just as enamored with Gruden and Tampa's coaches.

"Coach Gruden and his staff are a nice staff," Williams says. "I can see how they went to the Super Bowl, they have got a great organization. It really has been overwhelming for me to work with them."

Williams adds that along with getting to work with the Bucs' staff he is also getting a chance to meet with many other teams in individual interviews throughout the week. "Those experiences are overwhelming meeting the different general managers and head coaches that I have seen on TV and grew up watching," he explains. "The meetings have gone real well. They just interviewed me and asked me about different things in my life and that experience went well."

Williams catches a pass at Wednesday's practice session as fellow Auburn Tiger Carlos Rogers, who is out with an injury, watches from the sideline.

Along with the interviews many of the teams use time during the week to test athletes in all types of different areas. Williams says that he has been taking a few of those tests and actually has been enjoying them.

"My longest one went for like two and a half hours for the Houston Texans," the talented rusher says about the testing. "Actually it was fun though because time went by fast. They had you doing different things. They had you throwing beanbags and doing all kinds of psychological things that they were coming at you with. It was kind of exciting and it was one of the best tests that I have taken.

"You do reaction time stuff and then they put goggles on you and try and make you throw the beanbags in the trash and the goggles are kind of like a magnifying glass," he continues about the beanbag test. "I was way off and when I say way off I mean way off."

Even though The Cadillac says that he is enjoying the whole process of the Senior Bowl, it is something that was basically unnecessary because he was likely going to be selected as a very high first round draft pick whether or not he took part in the event.

However, Williams says that he feels like participating in the event was something he really wanted to do for a number of reasons. "I want to do the best that I can do and showcase my skills," he explains about his goals for the week. "Just show every team in the NFL what I have got to offer and why they should draft me.

"I think there is upside to coming because I have full confidence in my abilities and I know I can play this game of football," Williams continues. "I felt like if came down here and I was healthy I was going to impress the coaches. Also, this is my home state so I wanted to play one more time in my home state before I got out of here."

Along with getting to play one last game near home, Williams says that he is also enjoying getting to spend some more time with a lot of guys that he has been playing with for the last four years. "There are a lot of guys from the SEC out here," he notes. "There are a lot of guys that I have played against so we are all just coming together as a team this week and, hopefully, defeat the North.

"The first day that I got here it seemed kind of strange just seeing all of the guys from Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss," the All-SEC selection continues. "The guys that you have tried to compete with for four years--to beat. Now you join together and as a team it was kind of strange at first, but now we are just like a big family."

Williams also notes that even though he has been playing against many of those players on the national stage for quite some time, he was struck with a small case of the rookie jitters early in the week.

"I think just coming out and just getting over that nervousness from trying to impress all of the different coaches and the scouts that are out here because I know that every minute I am being watched," he explains about the toughest part of the experience.


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