It most certainly didn't go the way he hoped it would go when he graduated from Crestwood High School in 2015, but Ty'Son Williams is going to get his crack at the National Football League.
After a college career that saw him make stops at North …
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After a college career that saw him make stops at North Carolina, South Carolina and Brigham Young to go along with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the former 4-star running back signed as undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens following the completion of the NFL draft on Saturday.
"This lets me know that hard work pays off," Williams said from his mother's home in Sumter. "But to go with that, you have to have some ability. I'm just thankful and ready to get back to work."
Williams was one of two former Knights to sign a free agent contract on Saturday. Georgia Southern cornerback Donald Rutledge signed with the Indianapolis Colts.
When he will be able to get to work with the Ravens franchise itself is still up for debate because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Williams has been putting in plenty of work trying to rehabilitate his left knee after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his fourth - and final - game with BYU in the 2019 season.
Williams has done enough to where he said he is between 80 and 90 percent recovered from the injury. While BYU wasn't able to have a Pro Day because of the coronavirus, Williams did his own Pro Day with some other players with NFL hopes and posted a video of it to YouTube in March.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds, which would have been good enough for a tie for sixth place among running backs at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. He did 24 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds. That would have tied him for third at the combine.
Also, he did the 3-cone drill in 6.81 seconds. The speed with which he did the drill showed the stability in the knee.
Now he is ready to show the Baltimore organization what he is capable of doing.
"More than anything I just need to get out there," Williams said. "People are questioning my injury. I just need to go out there and work my butt off and let God have the rest."
Williams said he started getting interest from teams in January even as he was rehabbing the knee. While it was suggested by some he could possibly be a sixth-round pick, Williams was pretty sure he would be an undrafted free agent. That included Baltimore, which told him while it wouldn't use a pick on him, it would sign him if he went undrafted.
And that was fine with the 6-feet, 220-pound Williams.
"I kind of know where I stand," said Williams, who said he also got strong interest from the Las Vegas Raiders and the Tennessee Titans. "If I had played the whole season, then I probably would have been disappointed (by not getting drafted), but since I played just four games I didn't put a whole lot of stock into it. I kind of feel like everyone knows my ability. I feel like (with) a full year of production that I should be drafted."
Williams was having a strong season for the Cougars before tearing the ACL. Williams went to BYU as a graduate transfer after having played two years at USC.
He rushed for 264 yards on 49 carries - a 5.39-per carry average - and three touchdowns while adding seven receptions for 47 yards. And it's not like Williams and BY was doing it against the Little Sisters of the Poor. All of their foes were from Power 5 conferences - Utah, Tennessee, Southern California and Washington.
Williams rushed for 92 yards and scoring the winning touchdown in overtime in a win over Tennessee in Knoxville and followed it with 99 yards in a win over Southern Cal. Williams tore the ACL against Washington.
Williams hoped it was just a severely sprained ACL when it occurred, but he found out later that evening that it was a tear. He admits there was plenty of frustration, but he refused to dwell on it.
"There are a couple of minutes where you can sit there, think about it and collect your thoughts," he said. "It's not going to make my ACL, my leg, any better, so you've got to get up, get to work, get back on recovery, get back on the grind."
Williams, of course, went to BYU after spending two seasons at South Carolina. He rushed for 799 yards and five touchdowns with the Gamecocks, at times showing strong play. However, his playing time was uneven.
"I feel like a lot of people look back on things, wanting to change things, but the fact is you really can't," Williams said. "Everywhere I've been I've learned and experienced things I'll have for a lifetime. With that being said, I'll have friendships that I'll have for a lifetime, so I have no regrets."
Williams is ready to get to work with the Ravens and said he is "down with Big Truss," the team mantra that came from NFL MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson.
While he hopes to work his way into the running back rotation for the Ravens, Williams said there will be no hesitation on his part to be on any of the special teams if it means him earning a spot on the team.
"Anything they need me to do, I'm ready to do it."
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