Exclusive interview with Fayetteville State CB Joshua Williams: HBCUs, Senior Bowl, J. Cole, and more

NY Jets, Joshua Williams
NY Jets, Joshua Williams / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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NY Jets, Joshua Williams
NY Jets, Joshua Williams / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Representing Division-II and HBCU athletes at the Senior Bowl

JF: "And that's such a huge difference like you said. Wide receiver and cornerback are very much mano-a-mano. So going from that, where you played most of your lifetime, to now playing safety, that's a big difference.

Not only were you the only Division II athlete at this year's Senior Bowl, but you were one of just two HBCU representatives in Mobile. What did it mean to you to represent both Division II athletes and HBCU alumni on a stage as large as the Senior Bowl?"

JW: "It meant a lot just to be able to be the representative of HBCU and D-II football. I wanted to put on a good show and show the talent that we have. There were a lot of bigger schools that I was going against, and I get that they worked hard to get where they went to, but there's a lot of great football being played at D-II and HBCU [schools]."

JF: "For sure, and you look at guys like Darius Leonard, Robert Mathis, and what Deion Sanders is doing down at Jackson State, the game is changing in a lot of ways. And I think players like you, people like you, are paving the way for that next generation of D-II and HBCU athletes to hopefully get a chance to shine on that stage. The more people like you that come through and find success in college and in the NFL, it goes a long way."

Experience with the NY Jets staff at the Senior Bowl

JF: "At the Senior Bowl, you played for the National Team, which was coached by the Jets' coaching staff. What was the experience like working with Coach Middleton, Coach Rutenberg, and that whole staff?"

JW: "It was great, man. I was, of course, with [Jets DB] Coach Tony Odom a lot of the week. I soaked up all of that knowledge. Even though that was about two months ago, I still now look back at some of the things I was taught there, and some of the advice they gave me. It was a blessing being able to soak up all of that knowledge from [Coach Odom] and [Jets defensive assistant] Coach Ricky Manning Jr. They're all just talented and knowledgeable."