Opportunity for Success

James "Big Cat" Williams was elected to the Cheyney State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. Williams earned this selection with a career total of 342 tackles and 37.5 sacks as a defensive lineman for his alma-matter. After struggling through an 0-11 season in 1990, "Big Cat" went undrafted and was signed as a free agent in 1991. After playing two years at defensive tackle, Williams was converted to offensive right tackle.

Jerry Azumah earned a unanimous all-America selection as a running back for the University of New Hampshire his senior year. Azumah owns the division 1-AA all time rushing record with 6,193 yards in his four year collegiate career, and he became the first running back in 1-AA history to rush for over 1,000 yards four seasons. Azumah also received the Walter Payton Award as top player in division 1-AA football as a senior. Azumah was drafted in the 5th round of the 1999 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears as a cornerback.

You read it correctly, that's right, these two dominant college athletes made the NFL playing brand new positions. Not only have the two made it professionally at their new positions, they have thrived. Williams and Azumah are part of a nucleus, which won the Chicago Bears its first division title since 1991. "Big Cat" has started 102 consecutive games at right tackle for the Chicago Bears, and has also delivered on special teams over his career blocking six field goal attempts. Williams' productivity and leadership justify his position as a leader of the offensive line and as a team captain. "Big Cat" made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season after spending eleven years in the NFL, all of which he played with the Bears. Williams will once again suit up for Chicago, and will be expected to fill the role at right tackle protecting quarterback Jim Miller and creating running lanes for running back Anthony Thomas.

In Azumah's third year in the NFL, he started in five games collecting one interception, two sacks, and 49 tackles. In the Bears 33-19 playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Azumah offered some signs of hope for his future as he intercepted a Donovan McNabb pass and returned it for a touchdown. With the departure of Walt Harris, the Bears look to Azumah to step in as the number two cornerback teamed up with veteran R.W. McQuarters. During the past three seasons, Azumah has served as the "nickel back" or third cornerback on the depth chart. Azumah also put his running skills to use returning punts and kick-offs on special teams. His natural athletic ability has allowed him to make the conversion to cornerback nicely and his progression should continue in this and future seasons.

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