DeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams

refer to caption

Williams in September 2016
No. 34Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1983-04-25) April 25, 1983
Place of birth: Wynne, Arkansas
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 207 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school: Wynne (AR)
College: Memphis
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2016
Rushing yards: 8,028
Rushing average: 4.7
Rushing touchdowns: 60
Receptions: 233
Receiving yards: 2,079
Receiving touchdowns: 8
Player stats at

DeAngelo Chondon Williams[1] (born April 25, 1983) is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Memphis, and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

He starred in a dual role in Carolina alongside Jonathan Stewart, until Williams' release in the 2014 offseason. He returned in 2015, this time with the Steelers.

Early years

Williams was considered the top running back in the state of Arkansas in 2001, having played at Wynne High School in Wynne, Arkansas. He missed most of his sophomore season with a broken bone in his foot. As a junior, he gained 1,044 yards rushing and scored 14 touchdowns, leading him to be named to the Arkansas All-State team in 2000. As a senior, he rushed for a single-season record 2,204 yards and 34 touchdowns, averaging 10.4 yards per carry while leading his squad to the state 4A championship. He had 939 yards rushing in four playoff games, including 26 carries for 302 yards and six touchdowns against Greenwood; in the state championship game against Stuttgart, he rushed for 194 yards on 24 attempts, scoring two rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown and one return touchdown. He was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 2001 Offensive Player of the Year and was selected to the Associated Press Arkansas Super Team in 2001.

Also a letterman in track & field, Williams still holds the state 4A record in the 100-meter dash with an electronically-timed 10.81 seconds.[2] He also helped lead Wynne to a second-place finish in the 2001 state track championships.

Williams was rated as the number 25 running back prospect in the nation, the number two overall prospect in the state of Arkansas and was named to the All-America and All-Region Team by SuperPrep. He was also recruited by Ole Miss, Arkansas and Iowa before deciding on Memphis.

College career

Williams attended the University of Memphis, where he played for the Memphis Tigers football team. He holds the Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record for 100-yard rushing games (34) and All purpose yards (7,573). He also ranks fourth on the all-time NCAA rushing list with 6,026 yards. Williams was on the 2004 Pro Football Weekly All-America Team.

Freshman season

Entering Memphis, Williams was a highly touted signee. He played in 10 games as a true freshman. For his first career game against Murray State, he racked up 129 rushing yards, on 12 rushes, and a touchdown, marking the second most rushing yards in school history by a true freshman. Against Tulane, he gained 166 rushing yards, including an 86-yard touchdown. For his performance in the Tulane game, he received the Conference USA Player of the Week. While playing Louisville, he suffered a knee sprain and was forced to sit out the next week's contest against Mississippi State. He had a career high two rushing touchdowns against Army, as well as 10 carries and 110 rushing yards. He led the team with 684 rushing yards, 103 carries and five rushing touchdowns.[3]

Sophomore season

In the 2002 regular season opener against Tennessee Tech, Williams would have 61 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown. He would also have career highs of 135 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns playing TTU. The following week against Mississippi, he would gain 131 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, and 2 rushing touchdowns. He would also gain over 100-yards the following week against Southern Mississippi, finishing the game with 158 rushing yards. After a 108-yard game against Arkansas State and another 107-yard game against UAB the following week, he would tie the school record with 4 consecutive +100 yard games in a row. The game after, he would break the record, when he posted 119 rushing yards against Mississippi State. He would continue the streak against the Houston Cougars with 120 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. The next week he would have a career high, 195 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, in the victory against Tulane. Playing East Carolina, he would make the record 8 consecutive games with over +100 rushing yards. With the 137 yards rushing, he would also break the school record for single season rushing yards. He would continue to break records the next week, when he would break the school record for attempts in a single season. William's had 154 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown on 27 attempts against Louisville. The next week, in a win against Cincinnati, he would post 136 rushing yards but would tear his MCL during the game, ending his record-breaking season. He would end the season with over 1,400 rushing yards, the most in school history, and leading the nation in all-purpose yards.[3]

Junior season

After missing the last two regular season games and the New Orleans Bowl, Williams would return in the 2003 season opener against Mississippi. With 118 rushing yards, he would make it 11 consecutive games with over 100 rushing yards, continuing the streak he began in 2002, and having a career high 37 attempts. While playing against Chattanooga, Williams would gain 136 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, 87 receiving yards, and a touchdown reception. His four touchdowns would mark a career high for a single game. His streak would finally end a few weeks later, at 13 when UAB held him to 92 rushing yards. Williams' junior season would end when he broke his leg while playing Bowling Green. He would finish his junior year leading the nation with 22 rushing touchdowns and second with 1,948 rushing yards.

Senior season

Williams would begin his senior season being held to 85 rushing yards against Ole Miss but would follow up with ten consecutive games with over 100 yards rushing. While playing Chattanooga he would rush for 205 yards. He would again rush for over 200 yards when he finished with 223 yards against Tulsa. The next week he would post 236 rushing yards playing agonist UTEP. After a few games, Williams would accumulate 226 rushing yards and two touchdowns against East Carolina. He would finish the regular season with 127 rushing yards against Marshall. In his final college game, the 2005 Motor City Bowl, Williams helped Memphis defeat the Akron Zips 38-31, by running for a Bowl record 238 yards and scoring three touchdowns. His performance made him the top ground-gainer in college football in 2005. Williams was also an All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Walter Camp Foundation.

Williams was a finalist for the 2005 Doak Walker Award, which was awarded to Reggie Bush. He came in seventh overall in the Heisman Trophy voting. In 2005, Williams was named the inaugural winner of the ARA Sportsmanship Award, presented by the Awards and Recognition Association to the Division I football player who best exhibits sportsmanship both on and off the field.

College statistics


  Rushing Receiving
Season Team GP Att Yds Avg Yds/G Long TD Rec Yds Long TD
2002 MEM 10 103 684 6.6 68.4 31 5 5 51 32 0
2003 MEM 11 243 1,430 5.9 130.0 49 10 35 384 80 3
2004 MEM 12 313 1,948 6.2 162.3 75 22 18 210 68 1
2005 MEM 11 310 1,964 6.3 178.5 76 18 12 78 29 1
Total 44 969 6,026 6.2 137.0 86 55 70 723 80 5

Professional career

2006 NFL Draft

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20 ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
5-9 * 214 lb * 4.40** X X 4.10* 6.57** 35 ½ in. * 10'09" ** 25 * X

(* represents NFL Combine** Represents Memphis pro-day)[4]

In January, Williams attended the 2006 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, an annual event in which college seniors and professional prospects are evaluated by NFL personnel in preparation for the NFL Draft. His height was officially measured at 5'9, which led some scouts to question his potential as an undersized back in the NFL. However, scouting reports soon placed him among the most impressive performers during the practice week leading up to the Bowl, and Williams punctuated the week with a strong, if brief, showing in the game itself, rushing for 31 yards on 3 carries and catching 2 passes for 28 yards. For the Combine, Williams trained at D1 Sports Training in Nashville, TN.

On March 24, at Pro Day on the University of Memphis campus, Williams ostensibly improved his draft stock even further with an exceptional workout. He ran his 40 yard dash in 4.40 seconds with the wind and 4.48 seconds against the wind. He also impressed in the short shuttle, the three-cone drill, and the long shuttle. In addition, he recorded a 34½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9 broad jump and caught the ball well in receiving drills.

Carolina Panthers

Though at one point he was considered a top ten pick, with some projecting him as high as #4 overall to the New York Jets, Williams saw his draft stock fall in weeks preceding the draft, as many teams filled their needs at the running back position via free agency. On April 29, 2006, Williams was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the first round with the 27th overall pick in the NFL Draft. He joined Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Laurence Maroney and Joseph Addai, among others, in a promising draft class at running back. Williams adopted the jersey number 34, which he wore in high school, and which was the same as his hero at the time, Ricky Williams.

2006 season

He played in the first five games of the 2006 season and looked promising as an alternative to DeShaun Foster in the Carolina backfield, compiling an impressive average of 5.3 yards per carry. He missed weeks 6 through 8 with a sprained ankle. In week 11 against St. Louis, Williams filled in for Foster, who had injured his elbow, and totaled 20 carries for 114 yards. In a Monday Night Football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Williams started for an injured DeShaun Foster and managed 74 rushing yards on 17 carries and an impressive 101 receiving yards on 7 catches with a touchdown. He had 501 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on the year.

2007 season

In the 2007 season, Williams continued to back up DeShaun Foster. He had his first 100-yard game of the season in a win week six against the Arizona Cardinals. In the fourth quarter he clinched the win with a 75-yard run, the longest in team history, only to be tackled short of the goal line. On the very next play he ran the ball to the right corner of endzone for his first touchdown of the season. The next five weeks, he had low numbers due to limited playing time. In the final week of the season, Williams rushed for 121 yards on 20 carries while scoring 2 touchdowns. He finished the season with 144 carries for 717 yards and was ninth in the NFL in yards per carry (5.0).

2008 season

Williams established himself as the starting running back for the Panthers prior to the 2008 season. During the 2008 season, Williams shared carries with 2008 draft pick Jonathan Stewart, though Williams received a majority of the work. On November 30, 2008, Williams set a franchise record for rushing touchdowns in one game by scoring four touchdowns in a week 13 game against the Green Bay Packers. In week 15 of the 2008 season, Williams was selected FedEx Ground Player-of-the-Week after a dominating performance in which he rushed for 186 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. On December 21, 2008, in a game against the New York Giants for the number one playoff seed, Williams rushed for 108 yards and four touchdowns in an overtime loss. Williams did not fumble the entire 2008 season. Despite having a stellar season, he was unable to make the Pro Bowl over Clinton Portis, despite having more total yards, touchdowns, and yards per carry. This is mainly attributed to Portis outperforming Williams the first half of the season, as well as the large Redskins fanbase. Williams did, however, make the All-Pro team. He finished the 2008 season with 273 carries for 1,515 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, to go along with 22 catches for 121 yards and 2 more touchdowns. Williams credited much of his 2008 success to a discussion with Vinny Testaverde and improved pre-game preparation.[5] After the season, Williams was voted Pro Football Weekly and the Professional Football Writers of America's Most Improved Player of the Year.[6]

2009 season

In week 7 of the 2009 NFL season, DeAngelo Williams broke a 77-yard run against the Cardinals, breaking his previous record of 75 yards, which was also set against Arizona. The Panthers got their revenge from the previous year's playoff loss as they beat the Cardinals 34-21. In a game against Tampa Bay, Williams had 152 Rushing yards as he scored the game winning touchdown in Carolina's 28-21 win. Despite missing all of 3 games and most of 2 more due to injury, Williams managed to rush for 1,117 yards and 7 touchdowns on 216 carries, as well as receiving for 252 yards on 29 catches, earning himself a spot in the Pro Bowl. He and Jonathan Stewart became the first running back duo in NFL History to rush for 1,110 yards apiece (with Stewart rushing for 1,133 yards), as well as becoming the first Panther running back to rush for 1,000 in consecutive seasons.

During the 2010 Pro Bowl, Williams scored a touchdown on a 7-yard run, the first by a Panthers player in team history. He finished the game with 2 carries for 6 yards and a touchdown, as well as a 15-yard reception.


Williams at ESPN The Weekend in February 2010.

Williams injured his right foot during the Panthers' October 24, 2010, home win against the San Francisco 49ers.[7] He did not play again before being placed on injured reserve on November 17, 2010, with what was announced to be a mid-foot sprain.[8] Williams finished the year with 361 yards and one touchdown on 87 rushes, along with 61 yards and no touchdowns on 11 catches. On July 27, 2011, Williams signed a 5-year $43 million contract extension to stay with the Panthers.

In 2011, the Panthers drafted Cam Newton as their starting quarterback.[9] This resulted in a three way split for carries between Williams, Stewart, and Newton. Williams helped the trio finish third in the league in total rushing yards with 2,408.[10] The Panthers also finished first in average yards per carry and first in total touchdowns with 26.[11] Williams finished the season with 836 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.[12]

In 2012, the Panthers signed former San Diego Chargers fullback Mike Tolbert. The signing meant that Williams' carries would yet again be split with Stewart, Newton, and newcomer Tolbert. Although he played every game of the season, he only started 10 of the games. He recorded 737 yards on 173 attempts. He scored five rushing touchdowns and two on the receiving end.[13]

In 2013, Williams had his most attempts (201) since his Pro Bowl season in 2009. However, he did not make much out of these carries, only rushing for 843 yards. He scored 3 rushing touchdowns, his fewest since his injury plagued season in 2010, and one receiving.[14]

2014 season

Williams rushed for 72 yards on 12 attempts in a week one victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Williams missed the second and third games of the season vs the Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers respectively, because of a hamstring injury that he suffered during a practice in between week one and two.[15] In a week four loss versus the Baltimore Ravens, Williams suffered a high ankle sprain and was taken out of the game. His cast was removed on October 6, 2014.[16] Coach Ron Rivera has said that Williams would be able to return for week nine.[17][18] In a week thirteen loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Williams fractured his right middle finger. He was listed as day to day.[19][20] He missed a week fourteen victory over the New Orleans Saints due to his hand injury.[21] He was listed as doubtful for the week fifteen game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[22] After missing the final two games of the season versus the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons respectively, Williams returned for the Wild Card Playoff game versus the Arizona Cardinals. He saw very limited action, only carrying the ball four times for 16 yards and no receptions in a 27-16 victory. In the Divisional Playoff game versus the Seattle Seahawks, Williams carried the ball two times for 14 yards in a 31-17 loss. He was released on March 10, 2015.[23]

Panthers franchise records

Pittsburgh Steelers

Williams playing in 2015.

2015 season

On March 13, 2015, Williams signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.[27] The contract was for 2-years and $4.0 million, with $1.13 million guaranteed, and a signing bonus of $1.13 million.

Williams made his first career start as a Steeler on September 10 in the NFL season opener against the New England Patriots.[28][29] In his debut, he ran for 127 yards on 21 carries, his most in a game since 2012.[30] In a week two game against the San Francisco 49ers, Williams scored 3 touchdowns on 20 carries for 77 yards.[31] Despite his success in the first two weeks of the season, Williams was used as a back up once All-Pro starter Le'Veon Bell returned from his 2 game suspension. In Bell's first game back, Williams received only one carry for 2-yards in a week 3 victory over the St. Louis Rams.[32] In a Week 4 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, Williams had only 2 rushing attempts for 5 yards.[33] On October 28, Williams was fined $5,787 for wearing eye black that read "Find the Cure" in honor of breast cancer awareness.[34] During a Week 8 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Williams rushed for 71 yards on 9 carries and came in the game for Le'Veon Bell, who left with an injury. It was reported that Bell had sustained a torn MCL and would miss the rest of the season, effectively making Williams the starting running back.

In his first start since Week 2, Williams had a season-high 27 carries for 170 yards and scored two touchdowns, while also accounting for 55 receiving yards on two receptions in a Week 9 victory over the Oakland Raiders. On December 13, 2015, he had 23 rushes for 76 yards and two rushing touchdowns in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Already without Bell, in Week 17 at Cleveland, Williams suffered an ankle injury and did not return. This injury kept him out of the Steelers' 18-16 wild card victory over Cincinnati and the following week against the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

2016 season

Williams was again called upon to serve as the Steelers lead running back after another LeVeon Bell suspension, this time for the first three games of the season. After two weeks in the 2016 season he is the league leader in rushing yards.

Career statistics

Regular season


Year Team GP GS Rushing Receiving Kickoff ReturnsFumbles
Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2006 CAR 13 2 121 501 4.1 31 1 33 313 9.5 41 1 32 623 19.5 39 0 1 0
2007 CAR 16 0 144 717 5.0 75 4 23 175 7.6 30 1 13 231 17.8 29 0 1 1
2008 CAR 16 16 273 1,515 5.5 69 18 22 121 5.5 25 2 -- -- -- -- -- 0 0
2009 CAR± 13 13 216 1,117 5.2 77 7 29 252 8.7 30 0 -- -- -- -- -- 3 3
2010 CAR 6 6 87 361 4.1 39 1 11 61 5.5 14 0 -- -- -- -- -- 1 1
2011 CAR 16 14 155 836 5.4 74 7 16 135 8.4 32 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 0
2012 CAR 16 10 173 737 4.3 65 5 13 187 14.4 53 2 -- -- -- -- -- 2 2
2013 CAR 15 15 201 843 4.2 43 3 26 333 12.8 72 1 -- -- -- -- -- 3 2
2014 CAR 6 6 63 219 3.5 17 0 5 44 8.8 30 0 -- -- -- -- -- 1 1
2015 PIT 16 10 200 907 4.5 55 11 40 367 9.2 34 0 -- -- -- -- -- 4 2
Total 133 92 1,632 7,753 4.8 77 57 218 1,988 9.1 72 7 45 854 19.0 39 0 16 12
^† League leader
Pro Bowler



Year Team GP GS Rushing Receiving Fumbles
Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2008 CAR 1 1 12 63 5.3 31 0 1 6 6.0 6 0 0 0
2013 CAR 1 1 5 13 2.6 7 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2014 CAR 2 0 6 30 5 12 0 2 2 1.0 2 0 0 0
Total 4 2 23 106 4.6 31 0 3 8 2.6 6 0 0 0

Personal life

Williams was born on April 25, 1983 to his mother Sandra Hill. His mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. After ten years battling the illness, she died in May 2014. Four of his aunts have also had breast cancer. Williams now works with Susan G. Komen and has pink highlights in his dreadlocks to support the fight against breast cancer.[35]

See also


  1. "ESPN Profile".
  3. 1 2 "Memphis Tigers Player Bio: DeAngelo Williams". Archived from the original on June 13, 2015.
  23. Newton, David. "Panthers officially release all-time leading rusher DeAngelo Williams". ESPN. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  24. 1 2 3 "Carolina Panthers Rushing Career Leaders". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  25. 1 2 "Carolina Panthers Rushing Single-Season Leaders". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  27. Orr, Conor (March 13, 2015). "Steelers ink deal with former Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams". National Football League. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  33. Kirkendall, Jesse (October 2015). "Steelers: Why DeAngelo Williams still holds a vital role on offense". Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  35. "Deangelo Williams says the Panthers ignored his mother's death".

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