Cal Football: Remembering Steve Williams

Harry How

Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially when it's unexpected. Let's take some time to honor and thank Steve Williams for his contributions to Cal Football and wish him the best of luck in the 2013 Draft and beyond.

TheScientist019: The two great plays by Steve Williams that stand out are his interceptions against Stanfurd in 2011 (which he came so close to returning for six) and against Wazzu in the endzone in 2012. He was a solid contributor to our secondary and I was disappointed when he declared for the draft purely because we'd be missing his talents. He was a great tackler in the open-field and his tackles out there even reminded me of Syd'Quan Thompson at times, which is pretty damn high praise for a Cal cornerback. I wish him luck in the pros and I'll be rooting for him.

Steve Williams vs Washington State (2012) (via Adrian Ahufinger)

Ohio Bear: Williams DID return that interception against Stanfurd for a touchdown. The officials, in true Pac-12 fashion, inexplicably marked him out of bounds at the spot where he didn't actually go out of bounds.

But I digress. I am sorry that Williams is not returning for his senior year; I will miss watching him play. Not only did I regard him as our best cover corner over the last couple of seasons, but he also proved himself to be a very good open field tackler. He was dependable and reliable: even when he got beat, I didn't really worry about it too much. I knew that he would shake it off and be back to make a play.

What sticks out in my memory about Williams (besides open field tackling) is, of all things, the Colorado game in 2011. Remember that was the game where Buffs WR Paul Richardson torched us for 284 receiving yards. Not a stellar game for our secondary, that's for sure. But when we needed a play late in the game and in overtime, it was Steve Williams who gave it to us. With CU driving for possibly a winning TD in the closing seconds, Williams broke up a pass intended for Richardson. And then Williams did it again in overtime on a key 3rd down play, breaking up what many of us probably thought would be a go-ahead TD. Even in a dark day for the Cal secondary, Williams came up big.

I wish Williams well in the NFL.

norcalnick: I always figured that Steve Williams was a pretty good corner mostly because there were many games where you didn't really notice him on the field. Why? Because teams weren't throwing in his direction a ton of the time.

On the rare occasions when they did, he usually looked pretty good. Sure, sometimes he was matched up on bigger guys who could just reach over him (Austin Seferian-Jenkins obviously comes to mind) but he always seemed to be in position to make the play and that's about all you can ask your corner to do.

Avinash Kunnath: Steve Williams received a lot of comparisons to Syd'Quan Thompson due to his smaller frame but strong coverage skills. How would you compare the two corners in terms of what they produced on the field and the overall trajectory of their careers at Cal?

Steve Williams 40 meter dash (via Zack Mills)

Berkelium97: How about that 4.25 he unofficially ran in the 40 at the NFL Combine? Unless a corner is regularly tasked with cornerback blitzes, his speed is not usually noticed by fans. I was familiar with his nickname "Speedy," but I did not get much of an opportunity to appreciate his quickness on a game-by-game basis. However, he made a huge impact with that unofficial 4.25, just one hundredth of a second slower than the fastest time run since the switch to electronic timing in 2000.

Of course, his official time was 4.42. But by the time the official time was released, the damage had been done. Scouts from each team undoubtedly heard about the speedy corner from Cal. If he wasn't on the radar before, he was after that run. Hopefully this gives him a nice boost during this weekend's draft.

LEastCoastBears: The Defensive MVP and Best DB of 2012 for the Bears, the team awards winner is kind of a surprise to enter the draft. Unlike Marc Anthony, Steve Williams' smaller size may be scrutinized by the NFL Draft folks more than his better productivity. I remember Williams as being very productive and involved in quite a few plays, making plenty of tackles. While I do hold my breath, like most Cal fans, on deep throws from the opponents these past few seasons, Steve Williams had made some outstanding plays there to stand out. Best of luck to him at the next level.

JahvidKnowsBest: Steve Williams had a very strong 2012 campaign. Although undersized, he was almost always the fastest player on both sides of the field when he was in. I wish he was staying for next year, I think he would be instrumental as a leader/player for the Bears in 2013, but I can also understand his motivation for wanting to leave during a regime change. My favorite memory of Steve was during the Wazzu game. He had an incredible interception against Marquess Wilson I believe, where he actually ran a better route than the All Pac-12 2011 receiver. He made a difficult over the head catch, and was able to give us the ball back early in the game, helping us build an early lead.

Cal Football: Steve Williams Washington State Post-game (10/13/12) (via calathletics)

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What are your thoughts and memories of Steve Williams?

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