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Free Agency Roundup: Demorrio Williams

Posted Aug 3, 2012

The San Diego Chargers were active in free agency this offseason, adding top-end talent to an already rich roster. Here’s your chance to get to know the newest Chargers as we continue our preview through training camp with outside linebacker Demorrio Williams.

The story of Demorrio Williams’ rise to the NFL is one that very nearly did not get written.

Growing up in tiny Beckville, Texas, he was raised by his mom, Veronica, and grandmother, Ellaweize Jones. An uncle, Dexter, was accidentally electrocuted and died when he was just four years old. Despite the long odds, Williams thrived in Beckville and by high school he had become a feared safety who hit anything that moved. Williams, however, was just 170 pounds and major college recruiters considered him too small to play the position at the next level. He instead enrolled at Cisco (Tex.) Junior College, but lasted there only two weeks when homesickness led him back to Beckville. A close friend helped him find a job back home, where he worked 12-hour days in the town’s oil fields. It was backbreaking work. That same friend, Jay Hightower, convinced Williams that he should give football one more try.

Photo Gallery: Aug. 3 Practice | More Camp Photos

This time, Williams enrolled at Kilgore (Tex.) College and it was a perfect fit. As a linebacker, he led the Rangers in tackles his first season and sacks his second en route to earning Junior College All-America honors. The Nebraska Cornhuskers took notice of the budding star and as soon as they offered him a scholarship, Williams accepted. He had an outstanding career at Nebraska where he became a first-team All-Big 12 pick and graduated with a degree in sociology. In 2004, the Atlanta Falcons selected him in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft with the 101st overall pick.

Fast-forward to 2012 and Williams is about to begin his ninth NFL season. He spent his first four years with the Falcons and his last four with the Kansas City Chiefs. Twice he’s posted more than 100 tackles: 132 with the Falcons in 2005 and 142 with the Chiefs in 2009. He’s also been a beast on special teams, racking up 54 career tackles, while returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown. Equally as impressive, Williams has missed only four games in his NFL career. He had played in 123-straight games, including playoffs, before he was inactive for four games with the Chiefs last season due to a groin injury, but he returned and played in Kansas City’s final four games.

Williams is still hailed as a star in Beckville and he has returned to his hometown for the last several years to host a football camp at his former high school.

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