The Auburn linebacker's lack of prototypical size never stopped him from excelling in high school, never stopped him from becoming an All-SEC linebacker at Auburn and he doesn't plan on letting it stop him from becoming a player at the highest level of the game. As he prepares for Saturday's game in the very important practice sessions, Williams is making a good showing.
"It is just a blessing to be here," he says about the experience. "I am just happy to be here for real, just all the competition, you know. I can really see where I am at as far as my skills and see if all the other folks around me are for real."
The quick and athletic linebacker, who has played in the middle for the Tigers the last two seasons, will get his shot at the outside linebacker position at the pro level, and he notes that he is drawing a good bit of interest from a variety of NFL teams this week. "There are so many that I can't even list them, you know," he says about the teams he is speaking in Mobile.
Williams says he doesn't have any clues yet on which teams may be the most interested in drafting him.
Travis Williams is shown at Wednesday's practice.
Along with getting the chance to make a name for himself with a large number of NFL scouts, coaches and player personnel directors, Williams is also getting the chance to be coached by an pro legend. With the San Francisco '49ers staff directing the South squad, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary is coaching Williams.
"It is not really tough, and the great thing about it is everything he is telling me Coach (Joe) Whitt used to already tell me," says Williams, who was a three-year starter at Auburn under Whitt's direction. "There are a couple of little wrinkles here and there, but it is just his passion for the game and his passion for the linebacker play. I mean, I am being coached by a legend, a hall of famer, and it is great."
Williams notes there is not really a first or second team unit among the South's defense. However, he is always out on the field working among the first group that is called. "They kind of just put us together how we matched up, but there is a lot of talent, a lot of talent out here," he notes. "It is a great all-star game to be at."
That group contains a pair of Alabama standouts, DeMeco Ryans and Freddie Roach. Williams says that he is getting along very well with the Tide players. "It was strange at first, but when you come to think of it, it is all business and I mean they are two great guys," he says. "I have sat down to talk to them, and the strange thing about it is we haven't talked Alabama and Auburn football one time, not one time.
"I guess, they didn't want to really want to bring it up, for real, and I wasn't going to bring it up on them, but we are just really having fun," the linebacker adds with a big smile at the thought of finishing his Auburn career with four straight victories over the Tide.
Williams also notes that he even used some self control when chasing Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle, who was the victim of a big Auburn pass rush last November. "One time he was scrambling and I was having some flashbacks and I had to pull up," he explains. "He is now my quarterback on the South squad so I had to pull up and just tap him a little bit."
Williams also points out that getting the chance to hang out and work with players from across the South has been a lot of fun. "Everybody here is really getting along well, and once you get to talking people just start to open up," he says. "That is the main thing, you have got to get people to open up, but everybody has the same goals just to open some eyes and make it to the next level."
Although he has enjoyed meeting new people, Williams says it has been great getting to share the experience with four of his Auburn teammates--Ben Obomanu, Marcus McNeill, Anthony Mix and Devin Aromashodu. "It is fun to see those guys go after the same goal that I am trying to go after," he notes. "They are out here working hard, everybody is out here working hard. It is great to be out here with your teammates."
Although he is thoroughly enjoying himself at the all-star practices, Williams says that he does have a serious goal for the week in Mobile. "I just want to get drafted because once I get there I think my work ethic and my attitude and willingness to be coached will take care of itself," he says.