Avery Williamson was the heart and soul of the defense last year under head coach Mark Stoops first year at Kentucky. Not enough could be said about his ability and leadership on and off the football field. His hard work has paid off big time for him as he was the 151st pick in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft. The Tennessee Titans…he’s going home.
I had the privilege of interviewing Avery a few days ago and he was a pleasure to talk to. Here is what we discussed.
WBN: Hey Avery how are you?
Avery: I’m doing well. How are you?
WBN: So, the Tennessee Titans?! How do you feel about getting the opportunity to play in your home state?
Avery: It’s great, knowing that I’m going to be close to home, knowing that that was the team I pulled for when I was younger. It’s great to be playing for my home state team.
WBN: I’m sure you family is very excited, not only that you’ve made it to the NFL but also that your going to be playing so close to home.
Avery: Yeah, it was crazy because I was used to being at Kentucky and it was 5 hours from home, now my parents can come and see me anytime, you know, all the home games and it’s really cool to be that close to home and all my family.
WBN: How has your experience been so far with the Titans?
Avery: It’s been great, the team has really helped us out a lot and has shown us the ropes throughout this process and the coaches are great, they are really helpful on and off the field and I feel like it’s a great program. I think we’ll have a chance to do some great things this season.
WBN: Have you had a chance to talk to Danny Trevathan or Wesley Woodyard about what to expect your rookie year?
Avery: Yeah, especially Wesley, he’s taken me under his wing and he’s told me a lot of things. He’s helped me out along through the process and told me to just stay motivated and take coaching well and he’s helped me with a lot of little things that you can’t get at other places if you’re by yourself.
WBN: Who or what do you attribute to going from a possible free agent to being drafted as the 151st pick of the fifth round?
Avery: You know before, everyone was saying that I would go in the 7th round or free agent, you know everyone was doubting me but I think the NFL combine really helped me and elevated me whole lot and I was just happy to get drafted higher than some expected. It’s a great feeling and a sense of relief because it was never-racking watching the draft for so long.
WBN: It was said that you were asked to go to Florida to train for the combine but you elected to stay at Kentucky. Why did you do that?
Avery: Well, first my dad convinced me to stay and then coach Korem really made it sound good and I just said, “Yeah, I’m just going to go with it”. You know, he had a big plan for me and if I had went away I don’t feel like I would have done as good.
WBN: Speaking of Eric Korem, where do you think you would be right now had you been able to be under Coach Stoops and Coach Korem’s program for four years?
Avery: Oh, I can’t imagine! If I could have just had two years under them, it would have helped out a lot. I can’t imagine having four or five years under them. That’s why I’m so excited about a lot of these younger guys that are there right now, I’m really excited to see what they can do in the future and what they’re going to be doing through their college careers and through the draft process.
WBN: What are your expectations for the future Of Kentucky football under this current coaching staff?
Avery: I feel like it’s going to be elevated. I think they’re going to really help this program and get it back to where it was before. It’s going to take a little bit, it’s not going to be overnight but I really feel like they’re going to get it going in the right direction and I was glad to see Coach Stoops sign that extension with his contract and feel like he’s really going to get it going. The guys he’s bringing in, they could go anywhere in the SEC or the country and they want to come to Kentucky so that’s huge.
WBN: Is there anything you would like to say to the BBN?
Avery: I would say that Kentucky is definitely about to change! lol. Yeah, Kentucky’s about to change…for the better. Yeah, that’s what I really feel like. Things about to change.
WBN: Avery, It’s been a pleasure talking to you and I want to really give you my sincere congratulations for being drafted. I, along with the rest of the BBN can’t wait to see you in action for the Titans. I for one am excited.
Avery: Yeah, thanks a lot, thanks a lot. I’m excited as well. I can’t wait.