Williams' wait over in sixth round

Football: Former Glendale Community College offensive lineman drafted by Carolina Panthers 203rd overall in NFL Draft.

May 01, 2011|By Grant Gordon,

GLENDALE — Now a 6-foot-3, 309-pound man, Zack Williams has been a football player since he was just a 7-year-old boy.

Thus, when the 22-year-old former Glendale Community College standout received a phone call from the Carolina Panthers telling him he had been selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, it was a lifelong dream come true.

"I can't even put it into words, it was just a blessing to see my name scroll across the screen and get that phone call I've been waiting all day to get," Williams said Saturday afternoon shortly after the Panthers took the offensive lineman with the final pick of the sixth round. "It was just pure joy and happiness.


"I started playing when I was 7 years old — I've been dreaming of this for a long time."

Williams, a two-year Washington State starter projected by many websites to be taken in the seventh round and by some to be an undrafted free agent, was taken with a compensatory pick, the 38th of the sixth round and the 203rd overall.

"I think he deserves it," said Kevin Mills, GCC's current quarterbacks coach and Williams' head coach at Pasadena High. "What he did at the combine, he deserved to go higher. He just didn't have the hoopla that other people did."

In the weeks leading up to the 2011 draft, all eyes were on the Carolina Panthers as the owners of the No. 1 overall pick. That pick was used to select reigning Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion Cam Newton on Thursday night.

Far removed from all the pomp and circumstance that accompanied the Auburn star was Williams, who watched the draft play out in Marina Del Ray with just him and his mother at her house.

"I knew he was under a lot of stress," Mills said. "More than anything, he deserved to come off that [draft] board."

While Williams called being drafted a dream come true, he admitted the process was stressful, hence why he elected to watch the draft with just his mom before fielding a flood of phone calls and texts from well-wishers after his name scrolled across the screen shortly after 2 p.m. PDT.

"They call you right before," said Williams of the process. "It was fun just to watch my name go across the screen."

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