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When Mike Williams broke his neck and became “Coach Williams”

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Hear the amazing story about the Chargers’ 1st Round draft pick coming back after breaking his neck his junior season.

NCAA Football: Wofford at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

As you probably know by now, I tend to think look at things with a pessimistic and untrusting eye. That’s especially true when talking about the NFL, its teams, and some of the storylines that they try hard to push while burying other ones.

I tell you that about myself to show you how rare it is that I’m blown away with a story about how great one of these NFL prospects is off the field.

Every coach says their player is the best leader, the hardest worker, the guy nobody had to worry about disciplining....and there’s some of that there in this interview below between Darren Smith in San Diego and Clemson Offensive Coordinator Jeff Scott, but there’s one part of this interview that blew my mind: The story about Mike Williams breaking his neck in the first game of his junior season, and how he stayed involved with the team after that.

Here it is, if you’d rather listen to it than read me talking about it:

When Coach Scott says, “I gave him a whistle and told the receivers that he was now Coach Williams,” I broke into a smile and immediately figured out why the Los Angeles Chargers drafted this kid.

If I were 20 years old, heading into the most important season of my life, and I broke my neck on the first play....I’m pretty sure I would spend the entire year depressed and destructive. Mike Williams found ways to help his team get better, and then came back with 10 extra pounds of muscle on him the following year. That’s an amazing drive to want to be a special player.