In high school, Mike Williams played at Lake Marion High School, a small school in South Carolina just down the road from his tiny hometown of Vance – population of 150 people.
That’s right, 150 people.
After being selected by the Los Angeles Chargers with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Clemson’s former wide receiver will call Los Angeles is new hometown – population of 4 million people.
“This is going to be a little different just coming from where I came from in Vance, South Carolina,” Williams said from the L.A. set on the NFL Network’s Total Access Show on Friday. “It is going to be a big transition for me, but I’m going to get used to it. It is going to be fine.”
Williams was the first Clemson player taken in the 2017 draft, something he always dreamed about growing up as a kid. As a little boy, the 6-foot-4, 218-pound wideout always wondered what it would be like to get that call from a team on draft day and have his family around him to celebrate.
He found out what it was like on Thursday night.
“It was everything I dreamed of when I was growing up watching guys get that phone call on the NFL Draft,” he said. “That is something I dreamed of so when I got that call, tears started falling. My mom was right there by my side. It was exciting for me and my family.”
Williams admitted he had a feeling all along he was coming to Los Angeles to play for the Chargers. Throughout the whole process one scout kept texting him and asking how things were going. That one scout was from the Chargers.
Then the Chargers came to Clemson for a private workout earlier this week.
“He recorded it and he showed it to the staff. He said the staff loved what they saw,” Williams said.
When Tennessee took Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis at No. 5, Williams knew without a doubt the Chargers were going to select him.
“My agent told me it was going to be the best fit,” Williams said. “It was going to be somebody who needed a receiver and Cory Davis was already off the board so I felt I was the best option after that.”
Williams is coming off of one of the best seasons a Clemson wide receiver has ever had. He led the Tigers with 98 receptions for 1,361 yards, while scoring 11 touchdowns – just the fourth Clemson wideout in history to catch at least 10 touchdowns in a season.
He also had a 1,000-yard season in 2014 when he caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 18.1 yards per catch that year.
Williams said he does not just emulate one receiver in the NFL.
“I look at all type of different receivers … A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery, Deandre Hopkins, Dez Bryant,” he said. “Those types of receivers … big, physical receivers who attack the deep ball and go make plays on the edge.”
–Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports