Tyrell Williams waited patiently for his turn in 2015 and when his number was finally called, the former undrafted rookie from Western Oregon didn’t disappoint.
Williams was one of only four undrafted rookies to earn a spot on the active roster out of training camp. He saw early action on special teams and then spent two months on the practice squad before returning to the active roster for the final seven games. For the most part, his playing time was limited to special teams, but in the Bolts 2015 regular-season finale at Denver, Williams was called upon to play wide receiver and he caught his first NFL pass for an 80-yard touchdown on Jan. 3 at Sports Authority Field. It tied for the 11th-longest catch in franchise history and it was the longest first catch by a player in franchise history. It was also the longest first catch by any player in the NFL since 2008.
Williams is the first player from Western Oregon, located in Monmouth, Oregon, to play for the Chargers. In fact Western Oregon was so small that Williams actually had to hold his pre-draft Pro Day at Oregon State University’s campus in Corvallis, some 20-plus miles from Monmouth. Williams was a three-time first-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference at WOU and he finished his career as the school’s all-time leader with 165 catches, good for 2,792 yards and 21 touchdowns. Williams was also the 200-meter champion at the GNAC’s 2014 Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Williams’ brother, R.J., also played at Western Oregon. He and Tyrell were teammates though R.J. played cornerback for the Wolves. He now works for Nike in their social media department. The boys’ father, Raymond, played football at the Oregon Institute of Technology. And younger sister, Peighton, attends Cascade High School where she competes in basketball, volleyball and track.
Both of Williams’ parents work for the corrections department in Oregon. His father works in youth corrections, while his mother, Vicky, works at the state’s maximum security prison in Salem.
Williams’ hobbies include basketball, spending time at the beach, badminton and pickleball.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Signed with Chargers May 15...waived Sept. 19...re-signed to Chargers’ practice squad, Sept. 22...re-signed to active roster, Nov. 21.
2015: First NFL catch went for 80-yard touchdown Jan. 3 at Denver...tied for 11th-longest catch in franchise history...longest first catch by player in franchise history and longest first catch by any player in NFL since 2008.
COLLEGE: Four-time All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference, second-team in 2011 and first-team 2012-14...Don Hansen D-II All-Super Region Three as senior...school’s all time leader with 165 catches, good for 2,792 yards and 21 TDs...two-time GNAC Player of Week...played at Western Oregon from 2011-14...200-meter GNAC Outdoor Track and Field champion in 2014...exercise science major.
PERSONAL: Born in Salem, Oregon...all-state in football, basketball and track as senior at Cascade High School in Salem...two-time first-team all-league in all three as junior and senior...invited to play in Shriners All-Star Game and Oregon Athletic Coaches Association Basketball All-Stars Game.