Former Clemson D-lineman just wanted to ‘be a dad at the end of the day’

Former Clemson D-lineman just wanted to ‘be a dad at the end of the day’


Former Clemson D-lineman just wanted to ‘be a dad at the end of the day’


DeShawn Williams explains why he wanted to stay ‘home’ in Denver

DeShawn Williams has found a home in Denver, and it will remain his home for at least another year.

The former Clemson defensive lineman signed a one-year contract on Friday to remain with the Denver Broncos, the team he’s spent the last couple of seasons playing for.

Williams’ professional career is a story of perseverance. After breaking into the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2015, he was cut by four different teams, spent plenty of time on various practice squads across the league – and even played in the CFL – before earning a permanent spot on the Broncos’ active roster in 2020 following a couple of stints as a member of their offseason and/or practice squad in 2018 and 2019.

Since 2020, the former Tiger has been highly productive, posting 76 total tackles, including three sacks and five tackles for loss, to go with 11 quarterback hits, five passes defensed and an interception over the last two seasons.

After re-upping with the Broncos on a one-year deal for next season, Williams spoke with Broncos team reporter Sydney Jones about why it was so important for him to stay in Denver.

“I’ve been here for the past four years, so everybody pretty much knows what my story is,” Williams said. “And I think (Broncos general manager) George (Paton) really appreciates my upbringing, and I think the past two seasons I’ve proved that I can play in this league. … He knows that I’m going to give it everything I got for this organization. And shoot, why would you not want to play here, man? It’s looking up for our team. We look good on paper, but we’ve got to put the work in, and our conference is pretty hard. So, I think we’ve got the right pieces to be where we need to be, now we’ve just got to put the work in.”

Another reason why Williams is happy to stick around in Denver?

He and his wife just had a baby boy, so it means a lot to Williams to be able to stay at the place where his son was born.

“That’s huge, man. I didn’t want to move him to anywhere else,” Williams said. “My wife, she’s coaching at Highlands Ranch volleyball, so I want to go to her games and just be a dad at the end of the day. I didn’t want to have to commute back and forth or whatever the team I was going to go to. But here, it’s home. We bought a house here, my son was born here. So, it’s just home.”

Williams was asked what excites him most about playing this upcoming season with the Broncos organization, which has won three Super Bowl titles in its history.

“Just the energy, just the new life,” he said. “This city, it’s dying for winning and this organization is known for winning, and I think we’re on the right step forward to doing that. And just to see the life that people have now, they can talk about football like it’s meaningful and not just coming into a season as ‘I hope y’all are good.’ Nah, people are expecting us to be good, and why would you not want to come here and play for one of the best organizations and win? So, that’s why I’m here.”

–Photo for this article courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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