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CU Buffs’ defensive ends coach Nick Williams grateful for opportunity

Colorado defensive ends coach Nick Williams (Texas A&M Athletics)
Colorado defensive ends coach Nick Williams (Texas A&M Athletics)

Nick Williams was working at the University of Georgia in 2017 when he brought in a pair of brothers for a recruiting visit.

Shilo and Shedeur Sanders, the sons of Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, toured the Georgia facilities and Williams was in charge of handling their visit.

“I was dropping them off at the hotel,” Williams recalled during a video posted on YouTube on Friday by Thee Pregame Show. “(Deion Sanders) came down and he thanked me for taking care of them. He told me he was going to hire me one day.”

Last month, he did.

Deion Sanders, now the first-year head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, hired Williams to coach defensive ends.

“He could have went and got anybody in the country he wanted,” Williams told Thee Pregame Show, “but he’s a man of his word and he remembered.”

Sanders didn’t hire Williams only because of that 2017 meeting. In the years since, Williams has proven himself. He spent five years on the Georgia staff, where he worked with defense but was mainly renowned for his recruiting.

Williams, 33, then spent the past two seasons at Texas A&M as a support staffer who once again made his mark as a recruiter.

At CU, Williams has his first opportunity to be a full-time, on-the-field coach with a Power 5 conference school.

“I chose to leave (A&M) off of two things: One, we have a unique opportunity and situation here to do something great,” Williams said. “And for me being from South Georgia, this opportunity for me only comes once in a lifetime. It wasn’t about the money. I get a chance to work for probably the best football player of all time. I couldn’t turn that down.”

Williams, from Bainbridge, Ga., played at Georgia and North Alabama before brief pro stints in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football.

Since his playing days came to an end, Williams has risen in the coaching ranks as he’s been able to learn at top-notch schools and from legendary coaches. He credits a lot of his development to Pete Jenkins, a highly respected and longtime defensive line coach who most recently worked at LSU in 2017.

“It was a blessing from Day 1 meeting Pete,” Williams said. “I learned his way of teaching. … If you know all of Pete Jenkins’ guys, we’ve got jobs. Everyone wants to hire a Pete guy. I love him. He’s a mentor, he’s a legend.”

Williams believes the key to success for CU’s defense is to create havoc: compiling sacks, tackles for loss, pass breakups and forcing turnovers.

“That’s what it’s about: the ball, the ball, the ball,” Williams said. “Taking violent shots on the ball, whether you’re punching it out, ripping it out; whether you put your hat on the ball.

“Havoc, havoc, havoc, and that’s what we’re going to demand out of our defensive guys.”

Williams will play a key role in helping the Buffs create havoc, and as he gets started in his new job, he couldn’t be more appreciative of Sanders for the opportunity.

“I wake up every day and I thank God because this situation and this opportunity only comes around for a guy like me once in a lifetime,” he said. “I’m extremely thankful and I owe (Sanders) the world and I’m going to work my (butt) off for him.”