Jameson Williams has been one of the most talked about players this offseason, for understandable and ridiculous reasons.
The understandable: He’s a first-round pick that the Lions traded up 20 spots to get, and fans are eager to see what the Detroit Lions have in him after a rookie season spent mostly rehabbing from injury. He also will serve a six-game suspension after breaking the league’s policy by gambling on a non-NFL game while at a team facility.
The rest of the stuff, like the scrutiny of his social media conduct, seems to be outside noise that the Lions themselves are unconcerned with.
But Williams still remains a mystery, both on and off the field. He’s quiet by nature, and even though he’s active on social media, he’s rarely giving much insight into who he is as a person. And as a player, we’ve only gotten a handful of practices to really dissect how effective he can be as a player.
So to try and get a closer look into the Lions’ first-round pick, we had a 20-minute chat with someone who has worked closely with Williams for years. Brandon White, a receiver developer for “Receiver Factory,” has worked with just about every big-time NFL receiver in the game today. Jarvis Landry, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, Jerry Jeudy, Calvin Ridley, Tyreek Hill, George Pickens, and Deebo Samuel just to name a few.
White connected with Williams back when the young receiver was at Ohio State. Former NFL receiver—and then Ohio State receivers coach—Brian Hartline tipped him off to Williams’ extreme potential.
So White had a plan. He’d bring Williams in to train but try to humble the kid by surrounding him with some of the best receivers he knew around him. Quickly, it became apparent that plan wasn’t going to work.
“‘Hey, we got this guy who is supposed to be really good, let’s show him how we move,’ because it’s always really competitive out there,” White remembers telling his all-star crew of receivers.
“So I brought those big dogs out there and then he was electric. He was so good out there, and he was running around those cones so fast... the plan didn’t work. That did not work for him. I was overly impressed with him.”
Not only was Williams standing out with his speed and physical tools, but White has been impressed by his work ethic, too. Per White, Williams has been consistently early to his practice sessions, never takes a rep off, and when it comes to studying the game, Williams has gone over the top to learn.
“At this past event that we had, we were sending all the players the clips of their drills. ‘Here, check yourself out,’” White explained. “He wanted his, and he wanted Tyreek Hill’s and a couple other players’. He was the only player to ask for somebody else’s clip. What does that tell you?”
As for the questions about Williams’ character, White is perplexed by that narrative. He admitted he has been around the diva type of wide receiver before, and he doesn’t see Williams fitting into that category.
“That’s news to me,” White said of any character concerns with Williams. “One thing you can see, guys gravitate towards him. Guys are always around him. Guys love him. He’s quiet, he’s a hard worker and just a good guy. I don’t have anything bad (to say) about him. His character—he’s a fantastic guy. I’ve talked to his dad personally on draft night. When he got drafted, I talked to his mom. They’re good, praying people, so I know they raised a good, strong mental(ly) son.
“I’ve met some guys in my journey that were different dudes. We’re working with this position here. But anything about Jamo and character (concerns) would just be news to me.”
Check out our entire interview here:
Note: To learn more about—and donate to—the “Get Open” campaign White explained at the end of the show, visit GetOpen.org.
Subscribe to the PODcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or iHeartRadio. Follow Pride Of Detroit on Twitch to get notified when we record the PODcast live and chat with us. Video replays are available on Twitch and highlights can be founded on YouTube.