P.J. Williams Interview

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
April 27, 2015

WalterFootball.com was able to catch up with Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams. Williams had an excellent debut as a starter in 2013. He was the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game as he had seven tackles and a critical fourth-quarter interception that helped spark the Seminoles’ comeback win. The first-year starter racked up 35 tackles with seven passes broken up and three interceptions for the season.

In 2014, Williams totaled 10 passes broken up, one interception and 68 tackles. He held his own against Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker. Parker had a few receptions, but Williams also had tight coverage on the vast majority of their plays, including a clutch pass breakup on a slant. Williams has a nice skill set with size, speed and athleticism. After the Combine, the 6-foot, 194-pounder had a DUI arrest in the final weeks before the 2015 NFL Draft.

This is Williams’ first interview since that incident.

So if you can, discuss what happened with your DUI arrest and what happened that night?

“As of right now I can’t reveal that information because of the pending legal case. But my attorney will discuss more about it later on, but I won’t be able to talk much about it as of now.”

I understand that you are restricted in discussing the incident publicly as the legal process proceeds, but obviously, you’ve talked about it with NFL teams. What have you told them about the arrest?

“I’ve let them know everything that happened and clarified everything with the perceptions. I let them know they can talk to my attorney and clarify everything so they know that everything is set up the right way. Pretty much it clear up for all the teams.”

Is there anything you want to say on it regarding your side of what transpired?

“No, everything will come out when it’s supposed to. Pretty much all the teams I’ve talked to know exactly what happened. Definitely, I feel confident that the information I gave them and the information my attorney game them makes them comfortable to draft me. I’m doing everything the right way to make sure everything is set up right.”

So you feel that teams don’t have concerns about that situation going forward and in the years to come?

“Teams are going to naturally have concerns, but with the information I gave them, I think that made things better and feel more comfortable.”

You’ve been taking pre-draft visits to discuss it with teams; I see you went to the Cowboys and Ravens among others. How have your interviews with teams gone and which ones have you visited?

“They’ve been real good. I’ve taken a few, but I’m not supposed to reveal that information, but they all went real well. They’ve all said they like me and feel like I fit them well on the field in their system. They know I have a lot of upside, and with me being able to play different positions, that is something they like.”

You mentioned different positions there, and this is viewed to be a weak safety class, have teams talked to you about playing safety?

“A few teams that I spoke with mentioned that I could safety for them and also play the nickel. When talking to them about stuff like I that, I let them know that I’m willing to play anything on the field. I’m willing to do anything it takes. ”

As far as your college career goes, I think you had a strong sophomore year with a breakout performance against Auburn in the National Championship. How did that come about in terms of finishing your sophomore season with a huge, clutch performance?

“It really was just being prepared. [The Tigers] had a complex offense where they run a lot of different things to get you where they want you, but you really got to study the film. I studied the film twice as much as regularly with the long break before the Championship game. And it just led to being in the right position to make plays. I believe the coaching we had put us in a good position. I was ready to do my job at the highest level, and I was able to make some good plays to help our team win. And I got the Defensive MVP, which was a great accomplishment, but the main goal was the winning the National Championship, and that’s what we did. So it was pretty much the greatest feeling and accomplishment in college football for me. That was something great.”

Last season, you and your running mate, Ronald Darby, and the safeties Andrews and Ramsey were the strength of the Florida State defense. You guys made a lot of touchdown-saving tackles throughout the year and didn’t allow lots of long pass plays. How do you feel your junior year went?

“I definitely [think] it went well. We were undefeated until the last game, but also I was struggling a little bit early on. I had production, but I was struggling with a hamstring injury for most of the season. That caused some technical issues for me and I had to change up a few things. But definitely I felt I had good production. As a defense, we did pretty good – not as good as the year before. We definitely did what we had to do to win games. That was the purpose, and I felt like it all went well overall. We got an ACC Championship out of it and participated in the Rose Bowl, so it was still a great season.”

It looked like Florida State moved you around. You played a lot of press man but also mixed in some off man and zone. I would bet you’re comfortable in any of that.

“Yeah, definitely I’m comfortable playing anything: off man, press man, zone. We did a lot of that. I think our coaches put us in position to make plays, be able to develop at different things, and still have production was something good for us. I definitely think I can play in any system however a coach wants me to play. If they want me to do something I have done before, I’m a fast learner and I can do it very fast. I definitely feel I can fit in a whole lot of systems and do whatever a coach asks me.”

Now that your pro day, Combine and private workouts are done, you’re getting ready for your first NFL season. What are some of the things you’re working on?

“Mostly technique. I want to be consistent with my technique, and I’m working it over and over, so you’re consistent with it even when you’re tired. Technique is something big for me. Also, catching balls and making sure my hands are great. I feel like I got ball skills and great athletic ability. Making sure everything is sharp. Just trying to set myself up to be a great professional.”

See where Williams is going in my 2015 Mock NFL Draft.


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