Denver Broncos: Darrent Williams My Retrospective Ten Years Later
Ten years ago Broncos Country lost one of its beloved members. Darrent Williams life was cut short but his legacy continues on.
New Years morning 2007 is one I will never forget. I had fallen asleep on my couch after a late night New Years Eve. I was awaken to a call from my friend Juan. That’s when I heard the news. Darrent Williams, my favorite player, had been killed.
Although I had never met him personally I was very emotional over the news. At the time I was a 15 year-old Sophomore in high school who was underestimated in sports due to my stature. So players like Williams inspired me, The 5’8″ corner never let his size define him. When I watched games I would see a blue and orange number 27 heat-seeking missile flying to the ball every play.
New Years Eve 2006 the Broncos had lost a devastating game against the San Francisco 49ers which prevented them from reaching the playoffs. In an emotional state I wondered, had they just won that game, would they have never been out partying? If we just won the game, would Darrent still be with us? Instead of going insane contemplating what ifs, I grieved by putting on my Williams jersey and doing 27 bench press reps in honor of my favorite player.
I was not the only one who admired and respected Darrent for the man and player he was. Fans, teammates, coaches, and the community all loved Williams. To this day there is still a Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center as well as the “Darrent Williams Good Guy Award” rewarded to the player who willing to interact respectfully with media at all times.
Oklahoma State secondary coach Joe Deforest said Williams was the “greatest player I have coached in my 20 years.” Most coaches and teammates expressed Williams desire to be great and prove that he could play. As the NFL found out he definitely could.
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Darrent played two season for Denver after being the Broncos second round pick out of Oklahoma State. In those two years he proved he had the potential to be a star across from Champ Bailey. In his two seasons Williams compiled 139 total tackles, six interceptions, 19 passes defended, and two touchdowns. Those numbers are very comparable to our current all-pro cornerback Chris Harris Jr who in his first two seasons had 133 total tackles, four interceptions, 18 passes defended, and two touchdowns.
Williams’ coach Mike Shanahan summed him up the best when he said, “We all know that Darrent was an excellent player, but as a person, he was a first-class young man who brightened every room with his smile, attitude, and personality,”
R.I.P D.W. 27