Rodarius Williams has always had a chip on his shoulder for as long as he can remember. It’s something that is ingrained in his DNA as a football player and helped the Oklahoma State corner go from an unknown prospect to one of college football’s breakout stars and earning an invite to the 2021 Senior Bowl.
“It just comes from being doubted my whole life,” Williams said in an interview with TWSN. “Just saying that I’m not good enough, I’m not fast enough, I’m not strong enough. Or that my brother’s outshining me and just a lot of things that I hear and see, and I always prove people wrong.”
Williams was a consensus three-star recruit in high school, but while he was getting attention from schools like Oklahoma State and Arizona, his younger brother Andraez Williams, better known as Greedy was getting scholarship offers from college football heavyweights like Alabama and LSU.
Andraez blossomed early at LSU and became a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2019 draft, meanwhile Rodarius was a starter trying to get on scouts radars.
“That added an extra factor of motivation to keep going,” Williams explained. “I take the challenge and I accept the challenge and I’ll be ready to roll.”
Williams redshirted his first year at Oklahoma State, but from his debut season in 2017 up until 2019 he was a consistent, reliable starter. But he was stuck in the shadow of A.J Green, Oklahoma State’s no.1 corner and one of the Big 12’s biggest stars.
Green departed Stillwater for the NFL after the 2019 season, meaning the team was looking for someone to become the lead corner. A responsibility Williams was eager to take on.
“Like I said, I like to accept challenges,” Williams said confidently. “A lot of people were telling me ‘A.J. Green’s gone, who’s going to be the no.1 corner,’ as if I hadn’t been starting for three years, so it’s like they overlooked me. It really just gave me a whole different mind frame, a whole different edge to myself.”
Being overlooked and enduring criticism is something that Williams has been used to since he was a recruit being “outshined” by his younger brother, maybe even longer. Williams deals with every word that doubters say the exact same way.
“I put it into my memory bank, I love it,” Williams said of how he handles criticism. “It’s one of those things that keep me grounded and keeps me humble… I don’t speak much, I just show up and do it.”
Williams once again proved his doubters wrong during the 2020 season. His stats weren’t flashy, they never were during his time at Oklahoma State, but sometimes the film speaks for itself and it did for Williams. He was one of the Big 12’s most dominant corners and was honored with a second-team All-Big 12 selection to cap off his college career.
Despite sustaining success that was unexpected to many, his on-field demeanor never changed. Williams is attempting to master a position that is known for being loud, for being borderline diva’s and annoying the opposition. Williams is a surprising outlier on the football field, not fulfilling the stereotypes that are given to most cornerbacks.
“I’m one of those corners that never get into a chirping battle. I’m going to make you prove that you’re the great wide receiver that the media paints you out to be. I’m just going to make you make great plays all night,” Williams said bluntly. “I’m not going to talk to you. I’m going to manhandle you and show you.”
The Senior Bowl is the latest challenge that Williams faces on his journey to the NFL, but it’s another obstacle that he’s ready to face head-on in his journey to the top. Williams told TWSN that he’s been getting “great feedback” from the Miami Dolphins, the team that is coaching him during his week in Mobile.
Williams is trying to show the Dolphins and everybody else that he should be ranked among the best corners in this class.
When asked where he would draft himself, Williams quickly answered “I’d definitely be CB1” and didn’t hesitate to say that he would be comfortable drafting himself in the first round.
Many might disagree with Williams’ self-evaluation, but if you do, that just makes you one more person he’s ready to prove wrong.