Q & A with UNLV's all-time leading rusher Charles Williams
UNLV all-time leading rusher Charles Williams is simply biding his time. Despite playing only one game in 2017 and having to endure a COVID-shortened 2020 season, he still finished as program’s top rusher with 4,201 yards and 34 touchdowns.
He plays faster than his 4.49 40-time would indicate, and has the power at 200 lbs to be an every-down back. He chose to return for another season after his senior year because it was shortened due to COVID.
That year, Williams had his best year, rushing for 1,261 yards on five yards per carry. Still, he wasn’t drafted.
Largely believed to be due to the depth of the 2022 class, as many other players chose to return to school after a COVID-plagued 2020 season.
While he waits for his opportunity, Talk that Talk got a chance to sit down and catch up with him.
What’s life been like for you since you left UNLV?
Been a little up and down.
Just getting used to not coming back and having something scheduled for yourself as far as, you know, team activities, team morale and stuff, bonding.
I could say the hardest part has been traveling.
At one point I was in Vegas, then I was in Orlando, then I was in LA, back to Arizona, then Pittsburgh. So a lot of traveling and things like that.
[It’s been] kind of difficult but besides that everything’s been good, life’s been good. Just staying in shape and waiting for my next opportunity to be honest.
You said you’ve been traveling a lot, is that all part of the draft process?
Yeah, it’s a process, trying to get drafted and everything like that.
Teams want you to come out and figure out what you can do for their team. So, I did a lot of traveling.
Got the opportunity to go to Pittsburgh and go to the rookie minicamp with the Steelers. That was a great moment for me.
I got to learn a lot in those three days but I’m trying to get another taste of that.
Do you feel today with many NFL teams going away from drafting running backs high that it makes it harder for running backs deeper in draft classes?
Can’t say it’s tough, it’s just part of the game.
The position has evolved, you’ve got to figure out how to stick out in the mud. And everybody is going to say running backs don’t get drafted high but at the end of the day, teams rely on their running backs, especially in the playoffs and stuff like that.
So running backs still have value, it’s just different than it was back then.
Are you currently talking to any teams?
My agent is handling all that for me and is in contact with teams. Right now I’m still working to get into the NFL, waiting for an opportunity or a tryout.
If that doesn’t work, XFL, I believe the draft is Tuesday, Nov. 15. [I’m] trying to see what that’s going to be like for me.
You’ve mentioned before about the possibility of coaching. Is that something you wanted to do far in the future?
Yeah, I’d say in the far future. Because with the way everything has been going, I feel like I still have the opportunity to play at the next level. And why give up on the opportunity if you still have passion for it and everything like that.
My family has been telling me to keep going for your dreams and don’t stop. I just feel like teams just need more opportunities to see me in action.
Have you always wanted to be a coach?
Not always. But it started once I got to college and became the Big Dawg in the room.
If you did coach, would you have a preference as to what level it would be?
I would say probably NFL or high school because college you put more into the school [as opposed] to your coaching.
It’s a lot of time away from the family compared to the NFL and high school. I’d rather be with my family.
What sort of coach would you want to be?
I’d say work my way up, being a position coach would be good and learning, getting that type of knowledge from someone that’s running the team. Most people just want to jump in and be a head coach but end up being unsatisfied with their team and how they’re performing. So I’d want to get tips and other things in life to become a better man and also a better coach.
What type of coach do you think you’d be?
The type of coach I would be is more like a player coach that can understand where his guys are coming from. Plus, I’d make sure they learn on their own [rather than] just showing them how to get on the field.
How do you feel your experience as a player can add to your hopes to one day be a coach?
My experiences should help my situation and make things better for me cause I’ve been around great coaches in my career.