Wide Receiver Overcomes Fight Association

Wide receiver Chandler Williams overcame his association with the Florida International-Miami game melee and still wound up being draft in the seventh round by the Vikings. See what Williams had to say about the experience and what teams were telling him.

Vikings seventh-round wide receiver Chandler Williams was part of the headlines during the 2006 college football season. Unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons.

Williams was involved in the infamous brawl with the University of Miami last year when a melee between the Hurricanes and his Florida International team broke out. For those who saw the incident, it was truly frightening, as players from both teams were attacking one another and the officials were essentially helpless to stop it.

"At the moment in was real tense and there was a lot of jawing going on throughout the whole game," Williams said. "When it happened, you really didn't think about the consequences of the situation. I learned from the whole experience from the Miami fight, but I guess it was a blessing in disguise because I made it."

There were some who believed the incident could be enough to keep him from being drafted. In fact, in the days leading up to the draft, both Williams and his agent were getting deluged with calls asking for numbers where he could be reached after the draft. According to Williams, as many as nine teams showed an interest in him. Following his solid performance at the Combine, Williams was assured that his part in the brawl wouldn't be a deal-breaker. Apparently that was true because, despite eliminating 90 players from draft consideration, the Vikings clearly didn't put Williams in that category.

"When I was at the Combine, all the coaches that I talked to said that wasn't really a big factor," Williams said. "I had never been in trouble before that, so it wasn't a big concern. I don't know that if the fight wouldn't have happened whether I would have drafted earlier, but that doesn't matter now. I'm just glad to be a Viking now."

As with the irony that is the draft, of all the teams that contacted Williams, the Vikings weren't one of them … until the call came in to inform him that he would be the third wide receiver taken in the draft by the team. In an aside, Williams said the teams that had the most contact with him in the weeks prior to the draft were nowhere to be found on draft weekend.

But, instead of facing the potential of fielding free-agent calls, Williams got his NFL ticket punched with the Vikings. Although he may be remembered more for his two-game suspension stemming from the fight with Miami, Williams believes the Vikings could be the answer to his professional prayers.

"I just thank the Vikings organization for having the faith in me to be a Viking," Williams said. "I think I'm going to make them proud of the pick that they made."


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