Small in stature, but larger than life. If you had to describe Darrent Williams in one sentence, that would be it.
Nine years ago on this day, Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams' life was stolen. His infectious personality, his laugh, his smile, all gone, never to be seen again in the flesh. On that day a son was stolen from his mother, a father was stolen from his son. He was also stolen from his girlfriend and mother of his son Darius, Tierria Leonard.
Thinking of what could have been, where would Darrent be today? Raising a family with Leonard? Working with his son, a junior cornerback at Fort Worth Arlington Heights in Texas, on his technique. Wrapping up a prosperous career as an 11-year NFL veteran? Thinking about what could have been is the worst part of a life being stolen.
In his short time in the NFL, Williams became a fan favorite, media darling and quickly began blossoming into a star. In just two seasons, Williams notched six interceptions, two forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two touchdowns. The diminutive Williams was a threat for a big play at any time as the Broncos No. 2 corner behind Champ Bailey, and as the team's primary return man.
Off the field, Williams seemed to always be smiling and laughing. On it, he played like a man much bigger than the 5-foot-8, 188-pound frame he threw around every Sunday, known for his catch-phrase 'All Ready'. He was a man who represented everything we love about football. He saw the world and carried himself the way all of us should.
The entire Broncos team was among the estimated 2,700 people who attended Williams' funeral at a Baptist church in Fort Worth, Texas. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen delivered one of the most touching tributes.
On this day, remember Darrent. Remember who he was. Remember what he did. Remember what he stood for. Remember what matters — that Darrent Williams was one of life's brightest stars, extinguished far too soon.
But that light burns on, always on our minds and in our hearts.
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