MADISON – When he committed to the University of Wisconsin in January, cornerback Caesar Williams was excited for the chance to impact the team from the opening game. He’s certainly done that, just not in the way he’s envisioned.
After appearing on the depth chart as the backup cornerback throughout the nonconference season, but never getting in the game, Williams is working on the scout team and is likely headed for a redshirt season to keep four full years of eligibility.
“(The coaches) want to save my whole year and be a freshman again,” Williams said. “It’s hard to take in. I’m a competitor. I want to play now. I want to be on the field, but I respect my coach’s decisions because they know what’s best. Just like your mom tells you something to do, I respect Coach (Jim) Leonhard’s decision because he recruited me up here.”
When Williams does make his debut, the Badgers will add an ultra-competitor to the mix. A first-team all-district selection as a senior, Williams led his district with three interceptions, also recording nine pass breakups and scored a kickoff return touchdown. A team captain as a senior, Williams finished his prep career with 80 total tackles and 12 interceptions, logging three picks each season.
Asking 15 questions, we call this segment the Freshman Fifteen.
What’s been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?
Williams: The biggest challenge is you’re on your own and you don’t have anyone there to tell you what to do or tell you to go to class or tell you to wake up. Leaving your mom and going completely on your own, it’s on you. You’ve got to grow up. It’s time to grow up.
What’s been the hardest part adjusting to college football?
Williams: I believe playing in Texas and playing Texas high school football helped me be ready for Big Ten football. Playing down there in Texas with a lot of division 1 athletes helped me up here fit into the system well.
How did you prepare your body before coming to college so you would be able to step right in and start competing?
Williams: I worked hard in the weight room, working hard on the field. When I first came up here in the summer they had us coming in for workouts. I would go to the workouts, come home, eat and come back up to the field with a couple DBs and just perfect our craft.
What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what your biggest areas of weaknesses?
Williams: Biggest strengths is just bringing talent to whatever side of the field I’m on, whether I’m playing man, playing zone, playing whatever Coach Leonhard tells me to play. Weakness, I need to improve on everything. I want to improve on all aspects of my game.
How is Madison different than your hometown of Grand Prairie, TX?
Williams: They are both in the city, but this is a more college town. Grand Prairie is right next to Arlington and Dallas. I live with my dad in Dallas and my mom in Grand Prairie. I’d say the weather for one (is different).
Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?
Williams: I am undecided but I’m thinking about criminal justice. I like the idea of being a CSI agent or maybe go a different way and be a sports agent. I like the sports agent more, but it’s nice to have a backup plan.
What’s your favorite place on the Madison campus?
Williams: I like being here at the stadium. At night sometimes I come out in the stadium and just look at it all. I like being at the Terrace with the lakes and looking at the view. I’ve been at the capitol a couple times and that’s just amazing, as well. We don’t have one down there in Texas like that.
What’s your least favorite place on campus?
Williams: I don’t like being home, so that’s what I would say.
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?
Williams: I like to go out and explore. Now that it’s getting cold I might want to stay home a little more. That moped wind is cold. I like everything about Madison.
Who are you living with this fall?
Williams: Eric Burrell. It’s good. We watch film together and try to improve our games together.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learn about Eric?
Williams: He yells a lot. He’ll be right there talking to you and he’s just yelling. He’s a very loud talker.
Where does your biggest support come from?
Williams: My family. They know I’m far and they know I’m on my own. My mom used to do a lot of things for me, so she checks up on me. My dad, my little brother, my girlfriend back at home, they are all supporting me.
What’s your parents’ reaction to you playing college football here, being on your own for the first time and starting your journey at this school?
Williams: They like it. They know I had a lot of options to play wherever else. They didn’t care whether I stayed close to home or went far away from home. My dad wanted me to go far away from home. He said it’s best to learn when you’re far away from family because you’ll get your best experience.
From all of your scholarship offers, what made Wisconsin stand out from everyone else?
Williams: The college town, what the coaches said I could be in the program with playing early and when I came on my visit, I heard it was one of the coldest weekends in Madison. The players that hosted me, George (Rushing), Vince (Biegel) was there, Leo Musso, they just made me have a great time, made me feel good being here. They made me feel good being here without my parents.
What it’s like to put on the Wisconsin jersey every day, run out of the tunnel in front of 80,000 fans and be a part of this program on a daily basis?
Williams: Being here is amazing. Running out of the tunnel for the first time was shocking. I couldn’t describe it. Being a part of a football team with the tradition it has behind it, all the winning and the players we put in the league, I just love it. The transition from high school, seeing the 80,000 fans, it’s all just an amazing atmosphere.