During a recent trip to Dallas, Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was kind enough to place a call to the NFC East blog. He grew up about two hours due east of Dallas in Longview, Texas, where he used to play against Dez Bryant's Lufkin High School team.
Williams was still a little overwhelmed by the fact that he went fourth overall in the draft. He said he had a good feeling about his relationships with the Redskins' coaches, but he wasn't certain about his destination until he received a phone call from coach Mike Shanahan shortly before his name was announced.
"He asked me if I was ready to make the commitment to being great," said Williams. "And then he asked if I'd show up to training camp on time. I told him yes to both of those."
Williams is well aware that his work ethic at Oklahoma came into question in the months leading up to the draft. Even the OU strength coach, Jerry Schmidt, told the Washington Post that Williams was "definitely not a gym rat." Fortunately for Williams, Redskins wide receiver Malcolm Kelly was willing to vouch for him. The two played together in high school, college and now the NFL.
"That's the guy I turn to with all my questions about the league," said Williams. "We're such good friends that I've always been able to lean on him."
I asked Williams if he was surprised his former strength coach would make comments that could perceived as critical of him.
"I'm not a Sooner anymore," said Williams. "I'm a Washington Redskin. None of that stuff matters to me at this point. I'm here to help this team get to a Super Bowl."
Since high school, Williams said he's patterned his game after All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones, who just announced his retirement from the Seahawks. Williams said he's watched how Jones sets up opponents and he hopes he can have a similar career. Williams plans on locking down the left tackle position, but he knows he could also be called upon to help out at other positions.
I'll have more from my interview with Williams throughout the week.