MOBILE, Ala. — Jonathan Williams’ senior season ended in mid-August. Now, he’s at the Senior Bowl trying to prove that the skills that once excited NFL scouts still exist.
Following a 12-touchdown year in 2014, the running back suffered a left foot injury while scrimmaging. Surgery shut down hopes of a repeat performance.
“The first day I found out was definitely tough,” Williams told SEC Country on Tuesday night. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But you can’t dwell on it too much. The next day I was in the weight room at 6 o’clock in the morning with our strength coach, working out.”
Five months later, he’s in Mobile trying to earn back the second-round grade that some analysts gave him before his injury.
“I really just want to show that I’m 100 percent back and show my love for the game,” he said. “Show my intelligence. Even though this year, I didn’t get to play football, I still was in the meeting rooms and still on the boards just getting my football intelligence higher. That’s what I want to display to the scouts.”
He added that NFL teams have been asking him nonstop about his foot. How was surgery? How did rehab go? Is there anything you’re unable to do?
Williams said “it’s too early to tell” where he might be picked in this spring’s draft. In the meantime, he’ll be leaning on God for guidance.
“Trials are for a reason: To make you a stronger man,” he said. “At the time, it was tough for me to see that. But getting over the injury, I’m realizing that God does put things in your life for a reason. So I’ve definitely been able to become a better man for it.”