By Gary Lawrence
The road to the NFL for 70 percent of players begins in Pop Warner. It is here that many a young person has learned the fundamentals of the game and focused on making it all the way to the National Football League. Darious Williams is but one of those young men who set his sights on making it to the NFL — and the journey was not always an easy one. The road had its share of obstacles and challenges but Darious never lost sight of his dream.
Born the son of a Navy man, Williams has lived all across the United States, which in itself creates challenges as he never knew when it would be time to move. But as fortune would have it, his family settled in St. Johns, building their retirement home in Julington Creek. This gave Williams the opportunity to attend Bartram Trail High School his freshman year before transferring to the newly opened Creekside High School the following year. It was at Creekside that he played basketball, ran track and played football.
Upon graduating from Creekside he went on to play one season of Division 3 football at Marietta College in Ohio. The following year he enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was turned down after trying to join the football team as a walk-on. Some might have given up on their dream at this point but not Williams; the following year he again tried out as a walk-on and was accepted onto the team. Midway through the season he was awarded a scholarship. Once again, his dream took a detour — UAB dropped football the following year. It wasn’t until 2015 when UAB brought back the program and Williams resumed his football career. During the next two seasons with the Blazers he played in 25 games and had 73 tackles, 26 passes defended, and six interceptions. He was named first team All Conference USA and first-team All-American in 2017 with 50 tackles, 15 passes broken up and five interceptions.
After college he went undrafted, but was picked up as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens. He played there until 2018 when he was claimed off waivers by the LA Rams — where he has played all the way to Super Bowl LVI. His family, neighbors, and friends can’t wait to see that Super Bowl Championship ring.
[Editor’s Note: Darious Williams was signed in free agency by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Williams’ hometown team, on March 16.]
Photo courtesy Gary Lawrence
Darious Williams at Super Bowl LVI as a member of the LA Rams.