Williams recalls draft day 1998

<P>With the draft just around the corner, Giants safety <STRONG>Shaun Williams </STRONG>recalls how his draft day unfolded four years ago. Williams, who was recently re-signed by New York, certainly didn't think he was headed for the Big Apple when the 1998 NFL Draft kicked off. </P>

Here are Williams' draft-day recollections:

Draft day really brings back some memories for me. I was at my agent's house, and all my family was there as well. I just remember all the butterflies in my stomach. You definitely don't sleep well that night before, and you're just wondering what your life is going to be like. Am I going in the first round? The second round? Where am I going to go? All those things run through your mind at that time.

Leading up to the start of the draft, my agent's on the phone with teams; I'm talking with teams. We were talking to Green Bay heavily, and they were interested in me. But they knew that Reggie White was going to retire so they told me they were going to take (DE) Vonnie Holliday if he was there. He was, so that's who they took.

After that I was talking to Detroit, and I was almost positive I was going there. They ended up taking (CB) Terry Fair. When that happened, I was really unsure what was going to happen. That's when the anxiety kicked in and I started getting real nervous. From that point on, I didn't even watch the draft. I just sat outside, and was talking with my brother.

I'm starting to think that I might slip down to the second round. I came back inside and was sitting at my agent's dining room table by myself while everyone else was watching the draft. I heard the TV and when they said ‘New York Giants,' for some reason it just sounded so loud. I heard ‘New York Giants pick Shaun Williams' (with the 24th pick). I just sat there for a couple seconds and just kind of exhaled.

It was such a great feeling – a feeling of relief and accomplishment at the same time. I've been playing football since I was seven and I always wanted to play in the NFL.

I was totally surprised that the Giants took me. Looking back on it now, I'm very happy. I could have been in Green Bay or Detroit. I'll take New York over those two places any day. It really worked out for the best, because I always wanted to go to New York.

Now, more than four years later, I realized it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I know everyone was surprised because I was. The Giants really didn't give me any indication they wanted me. Everyone was surprised but it definitely worked out for the best.


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