God, Family, Football: Tramon Williams’ Irresistible Approach to Life
“Trust in yourself. Trust in what you love, seek to be the best at it and it will take you where you need to go.”
Those words are brilliant. It exemplifies a person who will follow their heart and do what is right in the correct fashion. It trusts their heart and has faith that the process will play out the way they are suppose to.
You know who you are and who you could be, and you trust that. You know that if you truly have love for something, you could contribute to this love of yours, value work to perfect your craft and let this love navigate you through life. With that, you will come out with an outcome you will never be ashamed of.
If there is any player that lives these words daily, it’s Tramon Williams.
He made it. Tramon Williams finally made it.
On a Sunday night in Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, to become the champions of the NFL.
Williams had six tackles in the game, and was one of the key components of a high-powered Packers defense throughout the season and the postseason. It couldn’t have gotten any better for him.
Williams had a career-high six interceptions that season, and followed it up with even more superb play in the playoffs. There, he had three picks, including two in one game versus the Atlanta Falcons during the Divisional round.
With a Pro Bowl nod followed by a Super Bowl ring, he had finally made it.
Williams once was an overburdened and overlooked player at Assumption High School.
A former walk-on at Louisiana Tech and later an undrafted free agent only to be cut and miss majority of his rookie season, he has created a play style heralded by several top NFL analysts naming him as “Mr. Clutch.”
Since 2007, Williams has earned his starting role for the Green Bay Packers He has been one of the NFL’s premier corner backs.
Now in his ninth year in the NFL, Tramon has earned himself a Super Bowl ring, a Pro Bowl appearance and a new goal of attaining that title again this year.
But that’s not how all of this started for him…
Williams grew up into humble beginnings in Houma, Louisiana.
“I started playing when I was five years old when I was kind of motivated by and watching my uncles and cousins play. They were older than me,” Williams said. “But you know, obviously when you got older cousins and people you look up to, you kinda wanna follow in their footsteps, so I kinda just followed in their footsteps. I started playing at a young age.”
Williams continued playing football throughout his younger years until he was of the age to work a job to help support his family. Williams began to get a taste of reality he was forced to balance football and a work schedule.
“I had a unique background a lot of guys don’t know of. Throughout high school, I worked a lot of different jobs.”
Williams recounts at the age of 14 where he began working abnormal jobs throughout his high school years. These were jobs that required extraneous labor on the body, some of which most parents would not approve suitable for a teenager.
Williams recollects that he worked five-to-six different jobs throughout high school. When regular teenagers were working at grocery stores or your local theater, Willilams was balancing football, school and working in fields during the daunting humid Louisiana summers.
These exhausting tasks with his uncles included washing tractors, staking shelves in warehouses and most notably working in a chemical plant with his father.
Williams suggests his experiences growing up has helped him develop the determination and focus for him to push through adversity and difficult times. With this, he was learning responsibility and how to drag his own weight.
However, Williams also learned at a young age these are not jobs he would want to do for the rest of my life.
“The jobs that I worked, they weren’t jobs you would wanna do for the rest of your life. So I kinda carried those things with me also. I experienced a lot at a young age from that standpoint. I knew I didn’t wanna go back and do those things for the rest of my life, so I had to decide to go to college, go to play football.”
The hardships of working and watching his family work these hard labor jobs for the insufficient payoff was hard for Willliams to endure. Williams was a guy who had every reason to quit, every reason to be angry and blame everybody for his hardships.
But he didn’t.
Williams pulled through and made it work, becoming the true definition of success.
And success is not about the person who has it all, the resources, the skill and the talent. Success is truly measured by the setbacks you have in life and whether or not you were able to fight through them and achieve your level of prosperity.
The difficult feat of trying to provide help for his family financially and become a great football player was adversity that Willimas had to experience. This enabled him to work through adversity and create opportunity where others couldn’t.
At Assumption High School, located in Napoleonville, LA, Williams played well and his football team was great. He was also teammates with future NFL running back Brandon Jacobs, who went on to play with the New York Giants.
However despite his solid play on the high school level, Williams was unable to gain any interest from any universities for football.
“Our team had great players, we went 13-1. And truthfully, Brandon was the only one to get a scholarship. In my mind, that’s mind-boggling. You got a team that goes 13-1 and if only one guy gets a scholarship, something’s wrong.”
Because Williams didn’t get a scholarship, his mindset was that he will get a degree. That mindset drove him to college where he reunited with his love football.
“Once I went to college with that mindset, everything else started coming together. Keep a clear mind on your priority and watch things come together.”
Williams recounts just being a student at Louisiana Tech University in the stands watching the football team, and he knew he could do what those players could … and better than that.
Williams says it struck a nerve in him.
“I went and spoke to a coach went through clearing house with no assistance no help no financial help and had to work after practice.”
Of course, Williams played well in college like he did in high school. But just like after solid play in his high school days, he was ignored again on the professional level.
He went undrafted.
Williams persevered, even after he was cut by the Houston Texans in training camp. It led to him missing his whole rookie season, but he was able to sign with Green Bay towards the end.
Even with the fact that he was passed over about 250 times in the NFL Draft, Williams still believed in himself and looked to achieve his level of success.
“It set my mind right like, ‘Maybe these guys made a mistake. You mean to tell me out of all these 250 or 260 picks, I couldn’t be one of these picks?’ That right there alone set me off.”
Williams would eventually get more playing time throughout each year, eventually becoming one of the starters. He pulled through and it led to his magical 2010 season, capped off with a Super Bowl ring.
“It brought me to reality like, ‘Okay, maybe I finally made it.’ I mean, you made it, but how much did you really make it? You made it, but no one still knows you, no one still respects what you do, so how can you get that respect? I think that after all of that, you finally come to the realization that that was a unique year.”
Even with a successful NFL career, Williams will still go back to what he values most. It will always be god and family before football, no matter how successful he can be on the NFL level.
“I’m the one that prioritizes God first, family second. Football is definitely up there, but I’m not gonna jeopardize God or my family for football. That’s the way I feel about that.”
Williams will continue living by those words once he hangs up the cleats, and he wants to remembered just like that.
“Truthfully, it’s funny, because I really don’t care if I be remembered for the NFL or not. If a guy speaks of my name, I want them to say, ‘He’s a great guy, he’s a family man. I can depend on this guy.’ That’s the things I wanna hear out of people,” he says. “NFL, obviously I want to be the best that I can while I’m here. The NFL is my priority right now, but for that, I’d rather someone say, ‘He’s a great guy. He’s a someone I can depend on guy. He’s a family man.’ And that’s what I prioritize.”
Williams wants to carry that into the gridiron as he plans to become a high school coach after his playing days are over. He wants to give the kids the resources and tools that he never had. He wants to give others a better route to achieve the success he had.
Whether it’s a doctor, football player or any other occupation, Williams wants to lead other kids to achieve that level of success.
And he will bring the same words to those kids that he set for himself.
“You must believe in yourself. I always tell guys that one thing.”