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Aeneas Williams gets a late start, lands in Canton


Aeneas Williams started playing college football as a junior.  At Southern University.  As a walk-on, a week before the season started.

The Cardinals later made him a third-round draft pick.  And Williams made himself into a Hall of Famer.  On Saturday night, Williams officially joined the most exclusive club in football.

“Begin with the end in mind, and die empty,” Williams emphasized.

Williams, 46, was a four-time All-Pro during a career with Arizona and the Rams.  He defended football, explaining that even though the game has its risks, every job has distasteful elements.

He also claimed (tongue in cheek, we think) credit for the new Cowboys stadium.  Williams joked that he spoke to the architects regarding the planning for the stadium, that it took 10 years to build it.  And so he traces it back to an upset of the Cowboys by the Cardinals in the 1998 wild-card round of the playoffs, when Williams had two interceptions.

And Williams concluded that owner Jerry Jones decided at that moment that it was time for a stadium without a hole in the roof for God to watch, because “God must not be with us anymore.”

God was with Williams in college, nudging him toward football a week before the start of that junior season.  And Williams then did what he had to do to reach his potential, trimming his 40-yard dash time from 4.6 down to 4.3 seconds, boosting his profile and standing in the draft.

Williams took it from there, and he now takes it to Canton.

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21 Responses to “Aeneas Williams gets a late start, lands in Canton”
  1. largent80100 says: Aug 2, 2014 9:23 PM

    Loved his speech.

  2. motleytrap says: Aug 2, 2014 9:23 PM

    One of the smartest corners to play the game. His technique and anticipation were flawless.

    When he came to the Rams we had the league’s worst defense. We went from no. 31 to no. 7 in one year mostly due to this guy. Regular season and post season combined he had like 11 takeaways and four defensive TDs in 2001.

    That whole Super Bowl the Patriots just would not throw at him. I’m just sorry we couldn’t close the deal and get you your ring.

    Great speech, great player, great man. Well deserved.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 2, 2014 9:24 PM

    In Aeneas We Daefeanse.

  4. fcoprado says: Aug 2, 2014 9:28 PM

    To me a better CB than Deion Sanders cause he was a complete player and a class act off the field.

  5. brianratm says: Aug 2, 2014 9:39 PM

    How is this dude in before Eric Allen? Seriously, for those of us that watched them both… I.would take Eric Allen any day, you?

  6. 941bucs says: Aug 2, 2014 9:49 PM

    This dude sounds like the definition of a real football player. A dying breed indeed…

  7. 6thsense10 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:19 PM

    Seriously brianratm? If you want advocate for Eric Allen fine but to tear down another player on his hall induction date is low……and Eric Allen himself would probably tell you the same thing.

  8. thegregwitul says: Aug 2, 2014 11:14 PM

    An underrated player, Aeneas Williams was one of the greatest corners to ever play the game. So smart, which was reflected in his speech. Even more incredible that he picked up football in his junior year of college and is now in the HOF. Congrats.

  9. militantgod says: Aug 2, 2014 11:16 PM

    Yeah, I mean I lovedAllen, he was a great corner and all, but Aeneas was a step above. It’s too bad he had to play with the Cards all those years. It would’ve been fun to see him play with someone like the Cowboys, 49ers or Packers, during his prime years. He was always underrated. Not as good as Deon or Rod Woodson, but not that far off.

  10. sportsjoker says: Aug 2, 2014 11:19 PM

    He deserved it. Don’t like him.

  11. bassplucker says: Aug 3, 2014 12:12 AM

    Incredible speech. If this guy isn’t already a preacher, he should be.

  12. sumkat says: Aug 3, 2014 12:49 AM

    I liked him as a player, but him being a hall of famer, and Eric Allen not, is a joke. Half the player Allen was

  13. bigblu73 says: Aug 3, 2014 2:30 AM

    Best Speech of the night!!! He’s the epitome of a true student-athlete and did himself and his family proud! Absolutely loved his speech! It was well thought out, poignant, entertaining, yet inspirational!

  14. nativeraider says: Aug 3, 2014 2:31 AM

    With Williams in it kinda makes a guy like Law a lock and Charles Woodson a first ballot.

  15. wyrdawg says: Aug 3, 2014 2:41 AM

    Gotta say: This is in my top 10 HOF speeches.

    The man played the way he said.. and said the way he played.

  16. 49erfan44 says: Aug 3, 2014 7:28 AM

    Thanks Lawrence Phillips for missing the block on this guy, letting him plow over Steve Young and ending his career.

  17. autumnwind999 says: Aug 3, 2014 9:21 AM

    Williams was a good player and I’m not hating on his Hall credentials, but Tim Brown has been waiting for years and really deserved to go in before any of these guys except probably Brooks. HOF committee is a goofy crew.

  18. bassplucker says: Aug 3, 2014 10:15 AM

    Loved his subtle swipes at Revis and THE Ohio State University.

  19. patriotsdefense says: Aug 3, 2014 10:55 AM

    I love that Williams got in, because it makes the case for Ty Law that much stronger.

  20. tfoz5150 says: Aug 3, 2014 2:22 PM

    Totally agree with the comments about Eric Allen. Aeneas was a very good player, but had the fortune of playing on the media darling Greatest Show on Turf teams. Without that, he would be on the sideline now. Eric Allen was a stud who when he played was on or above the level of Deion and Rod Woodson. The HOF seems to be nothing but a High School popularity contest. I mean Andre Reed?

  21. mysterytonite says: Aug 3, 2014 3:50 PM

    Williams was a guy I was worried about him getting in. He was very humble and let his play do the talking. For some reason nowadays, obnoxious players have to let you know how great they are whenever they do their job. Your never heard Williams, you just felt him. Even when he laid the wood he never got up in the other players face, that was just what he was expected to do. I remember when he retired Steve Young. Great player, glad to see that you don’t always have to run your mouth to get attention.

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