October 13, 2017
For senior safety Kieron Williams, football is his only passion, and it always has been.
“I’ve been playing since I was 4-years-old, so it’s just something that I just grew up doing, so my mom put me in it,” Williams said. “You start tackling where I’m from around like 7-years-old. I played running back so I used to score touchdowns every game so that was fun, those were my first memories.”
The Shreveport, La., native grew up following the footsteps of uncle Tay Mims, a former professional who played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For Williams, football was never a question of how far he wanted to go with the sport, but rather where he’d go on his way to the NFL.
“I kind of always had the dream of going to the NFL,” Williams said, “so college was just the way to go to the NFL. I never thought I wouldn’t be playing college football.”
After leading the defense at C. E. Byrd High School as the No. 50 safety in the country and No. 35 overall prospect from Louisiana, a knee injury left the Air Force Academy as Williams’ only option. Williams proved himself in his one year in prep school and followed former secondary coach Charlton Warren to Nebraska.
“I knew nothing about [Nebraska],” Williams said. “The first game I went to was a game I actually played in.”
Since joining the Nebraska program, Williams has played in all 45 games of his Husker career. He led the team in interceptions last season, ranking second in the Big Ten in interceptions per game. But outside of a pick-six Williams scored in NU’s 52-17 defeat over Wyoming last year, some of his best memories have taken place off the field.
For the last three years, Williams has been named to the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Teams for his community outreach work. Williams took part in the NoFilter Service Abroad Trip to the Dominican Republic in May of 2016, and he has also volunteered his time with Uplifting Athletes, Husker Heroes, NFL Fuel Up to Play 60, Shop with a Jock, the Souper Bowl of Caring, Mad Dads and local hospital and school outreach visits.
“[Giving back] is always been something I’ve been passionate about,” Williams said. “I like kids, I like helping out. Growing up, you just always have people that are around, like my coaches from when I was little or just people that have been there along the way. Somebody helped me, so it’s only right if I help other people.”
He’d like to continue to help people once his football playing days are over. Williams is hopeful to play in the NFL but when he’s done playing, he plans to open his own football training facility. But for now, Williams plans to help out the team in whatever role he’s needed, and lead in the way he knows best.
“It feels good being able just to lead,” he said. “I’m the more laid-back guy, so I kind of just tell guys it’s still football, at the end of the day, just have fun.”