Waiting Game: The NFL Lockout and Nate Williams


The NFL lockout is frustrating for fans, players, media personnel, and about everyone but the owners and the lawyers that are getting paid to drag this out. However, the most frustrated are the ones that have their NFL dreams on hold; the undrafted free-agents.

Nate Williams, a former Husky Safety and a recent UW graduate, is one of many that has had his NFL career and his NFL dream on hold as he waits for the lockout to lift. As of now, no team can even contact him, no team can even email him, he has no idea if teams are interested in him or not. He doesn’t know where he will live or where he will play, he could play anywhere in the country. It could be the New York Giants, the Seattle Seahawks, the San Diego Charger, or the Atlanta Falcons. Everything about his future is on hold and in waiting as the NFL remains locked out.

He watched seven rounds of the NFL draft and his name was never called. There was an initial letdown of not having that shot of a spot on an NFL roster but instead of giving up hope, Williams continues to fight for that lifelong dream of making it to the NFL.

He now has to wait, train, and continue to hope and pray that his NFL dream will happen and he will receive a call as soon as the lockout is lifted.

I was able to talk with Williams and get his thoughts on the NFL lockout and what he is doing to stay not only in physical shape but in the right mental state as he continues to pursue his dream.

Here is our conversation:
What were your initial feelings after the draft and how have they changed the longer the NFL has remained locked out?

After the draft, I was pretty disappointed at first. It has been, and always will be a goal of mine to play in the league. Once I got over the initial disappointment, I got even more motivated than ever. Got right back to work the Monday after the draft and have been going hard every since. With the lockout, it’s a frustrating situation for me and all the other players coming out of college this year, especially the undrafted free agents because at this point we basically know nothing about our future. It’s just been a long waiting game for all of us, hopefully it’s over soon.

What are you doing to stay in shape or stay ready for the lockout to lift?

To stay in shape I’ve been working out with Mason Foster (3rd round Tampa Bay Buccaneers) every day running, lifting, and doing drills on the field. It’s great to still have him here because we’ve been good friends all 4 years we were here. We know how to get under each other’s skin while working out to push one another harder. We’re both big competitors as well, we hate losing, so every drill we do, every lift we’re competing with each other in everything. Recently, we started working out with the UW team in the mornings and then we do our field work in the afternoon on our own time. It’s been going well for the both of us and we’ll be ready to go once the lockout is lifted.

Would you consider playing in an alternative football league or over in Europe if the NFL doesn’t resume for the year?

Like I said before it’s always been a goal of mine to play in the NFL so if the lockout lasts throughout the entire season I’m not sure what I would do at that point. I would have to sit down with my agent and discuss what options I have and see what’s best for my career.

Have you been in contact with any other players that are in the same position as you? If so, what are they telling you?

Since the draft, I’ve just been talking to a few of the guys from the team that are still here, D’Andre Goodwin mostly, and also a few of the guys that I trained with down in Orlando, Florida at Coach Tom Shaw’s. We’re all frustrated with the situation but there’s nothing that we can do about it, it’s out of our hands. The only thing we can do is just workout to stay in shape so when the lockout is lifted we’ll all be ready go to a camp and showcase what we got as soon as that happens.