UConn Pro Day: WR/KR Nick Williams

UConn Pro Day: WR/KR Nick Williams
March 28, 2013, 2:00 pm
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ABOUT THE PLAYER: Four-year kick returner, punt returner, and receiver for the University of Connecticut. Williams was one of four team captains.

Williams goes down as UConn's all-time leader in kick-off return yards (2,045) and ranks second in yards- per-return (25.9). He's the only Husky to have at least two kick-off returns, and two punt returns, for touchdowns in school history. He also caught 30 passes for 334 yards and rushed 10 times for 40 yards and one touchdown.

Versatility is old-hat:

ABOUT THE MAN: Williams may not get as much press as some of his teammates, but he earned his fair share of attention at Wednesday's pro scouting event.

It began with his 37-inch vertical leap.

From there he kept eyebrows aloft in the three-cone, positional drills, and shuttle run.

Huskies head coach Paul Pasqualoni has had no qualms about comparing the 5-9, 184-pound player to former Patriot, current Bronco Wes Welker.

It's a highly complimentary idea that provides Williams perspective.

"It just shows that it's been done before; I'm not trailblazing right now," he shrugged. "Guys that are like me have done it and been successful. Guys that don't run 4.3's have gone on to the NFL that are short… have had great careers, so you just have to put your mind to it, believe and hopefully you get an opportunity to make the most of it."

It didn't hurt that Bill Belichick was on hand watching Williams work.

"That was pretty interesting," the 22-year old admitted. "I was fired up when I found out he was coming. An opportunity to work out in front of him is not something you can do every day. I was very fired up about that, especially with, although I think they're a little lofty, the Welker comparisons.

ABOUT HIS JOURNEY: Williams spent seven weeks training in Florida before finishing up in New Jersey. Both facilities specialized in the tasks performed at pro day and the key to each was simple: Run it again, and again, and again.

"It's very tiring because every drill that you do -- literally, everything that you do -- you do as hard as you possibly can and after about four or five events, you don't have much left in the tank. And there's a lot to go and you don't know what drills they're going to put you through. At the end, with the position work, there's no real way to prepare for it."

His hard work appeared to pay off on the three-cone drill, especially. Williams was quick, agile, and unlike some of his teammates, barely stopped to change direction. Each movement flowed fluidly into the next.

"We're all a little bit tired right now and trying not to show it," he smiled, hands on hips.

WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Williams is an electrifying returner on both punts and kickoffs. In [UConn's 2012] win over Pittsburgh, Williams finished with 160 all-purpose yards including an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. The score was Williams' second punt return for a touchdown this season and the fourth special-teams touchdown of his career. The senior wideout also became UConn's all-time leader in return yardage (2,389).Williams could be an intriguing late-round pick." -- NFL Draft Scout

WHAT HE SAYS: "I think, although I'm short in stature, I think I can bring a lot to a team. I'm really quick, I can play a bunch of different positions, I'm faster than I look, and I play a little bit faster than I time. I can play running back, receiver, kick returner, punt returner, and all special teams."

"I definitely [see myself] going in as a returner first and a receiver second. Hopefully my role, if I do get an opportunity, would develop as it did here. If I can repeat a similar process to [what I did at UConn], it'd be great. Definitely have to keep working at receiver, keep catching passes, and keep running routes. But that stuff comes with time, with repetition, like anything else."