Catching Up With John L. Williams

For John L. Williams, football has just about come full circle. The legendary Gator running back is now coaching the position where his nephew goes to school and enjoying that aspect of the game. Williams was once a big part of an electrifying and stout offense at Florida that helped garner the Gators' first unofficial SEC title. Things are slower now for the former all-pro, but he is enjoying it.

Even with sharing the backfield with two other first round draft picks and playing fullback for most of his career, John L. Williams is still ranked seventh among all Gator rushers 2,409 yards for his career. With several seasons in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Williams now finds himself taking it easy and living the good life of a Floridian and Gator Great.

"I am not doing much of anything," Williams said with a smile after coaching a scrimmage with his nephew Kion Williams and the Interlachen Rams." I have a buddy that takes me fishing every once in a while. I go fishing and get the kids from school and that is about it.

In the fall you might well find Williams at his old stomping grounds in Gainesville, that is if the weather will allow it.

"Still doing Saturday's in The Swamp if it isn't too hot...it is so hard to do the day games," he said before remembering the Decembers and Januarys in Pittsburgh. "When I went to Pittsburgh I realized how much I enjoyed the Dome and Florida hot, with all that cold weather."

Williams was a big part of the program that won the Gators' first SEC title only to have it stripped away in 1984. He finished off his career at Florida in 1985 and still hangs with a couple of his teammates from back then.

"Jarvis Williams and I hang together and Ricky Nattiel, that is pretty much it," he said.

Williams likes the chances of the 2010 version of the Florida Gators. He believes the quarterback position is in good hands with junior John Brantley at the helm taking over for Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow who was just drafted in the first round of the NFL.

"I think they are going to be pretty good," he said of the 2010 Gators. "Brantley is going to do a good job and they are going to have a good enough team to get to the point where they will continue to compete for the championship."

Williams is also a fan of the head coach. Urban Meyer is the three time national coach of the year and has delivered two national championships and three 13 win seasons in his five years at Florida. It only took one of those championships to convince Williams that Meyer was the right guy.

"Coach Meyer does the right things," he said. "Any time you win a national championship you are doing things right, so don't change it. Just keep doing what you are doing to win the next championship."

John L. Williams is coaching Kion Williams and the rest of the running backs at Interlachen HS just like many of the former Gator players that have moved on. Just his little part of giving back.


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