NFL: Former Utah fullback Karl Williams hopes for call on draft day
A picture of former heavyweight boxer Carl "The Truth" Williams hangs in Utah fullback Karl Williams' room. Ever since the football-playing Williams scored his first high school touchdown, he also has been dubbed "The Truth."
What Karl Williams hopes is true is that he'll be selected in the upcoming NFL draft.
Williams worked his way from nobody to team leader with the Utes. He sought the big spotlight in college ball after playing a game with Southern Utah, an FCS school, at San Diego State in his freshman season.
"It was really intimidating," recalls the 6-foot, 245-pound Williams. "I was never in front of that many people; probably 4,500 was the most in my high school championship game. It also was their opener at San Diego, with fireworks and the stadium packed. Coming into that environment put the taste in my mouth."
So he walked on with Utah, spent the next season as a redshirt, then worked his way up from kick coverages to captain of special teams to part-time fullback to starter.
"Walk-ons they say are part of the family, but like any other place, you are different than the scholarship players," Williams says. "You don't get the scholarship money each month, you're not in the same boat.
"The hard part was getting through to coaches that I could be a scholarship player. As a walk-on, getting the coaches' attention is the hard road. I think the players are more in tune to what you are doing, through the blood, sweat and tears you share with them, and being out there with them."
Now he hopes he has a right to be in the NFL. Several teams have contacted him, but in most projections, he's a third-day selection. He's got some strong credentials, including versatility, power and a knack for getting into the end zone.
He recognizes that fullback "is a dying breed," and sees himself as a hybrid, a player who can block, carry the ball and catch it either out of the backfield or even as a tight end. He says he would have no problem trying to make an NFL team as an undrafted free agent.
"I came to Utah as a walk-on," he says. "If I go into the NFL as a walk-on, it is the same as I did in college. I will beat it."