Mike Williams officially signed his contract Thursday afternoon.
Friday morning, he’ll take the field for the first time as a Los Angeles Charger during the team’s rookie mini camp.
As he walked over to his new locker, the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft simply shook his head and smiled.
“I’m excited to get out there,” he said, nodding toward the practice field. “It’s crazy just knowing where I came from. I worked so hard just to get to this point, so it’s exciting to sign and officially be a Charger. To be part of an NFL team is something I’ve always dreamed of.”
Williams’ locker couldn’t be situated in a more ideal location.
Directly to his left is Jason Verrett, the Bolts’ 2014 first-round pick who already has one Pro Bowl appearance under his belt. A few feet away is Melvin Gordon, the team’s 2015 first-rounder who is fresh off his first Pro Bowl honor. Then around the corner is Joey Bosa, last year’s first-round pick who is the league’s reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The wide receiver knows a lot is expected out of him after that trio set such a high standard. As such, he plans to pick their brains as much as possible.
“Those guys have made a lot of plays. They’re some of the best in the league. Just to be surrounded by them is exciting. I’ll most definitely be talking to them. You have to learn from the guys who have been through it (in my shoes). Bosa was the first round pick last year, so he knows what it takes to go out there as a rookie and (succeed). It’s going to be exciting to meet all those guys and see how they do it.”
When they were rookies, Bosa and Gordon spoke about having some nerves before taking the field for the first time. However, Williams has no trepidations. In fact, he’s determined to make it feel like any other practice.
“I’m just going to go out there and have fun. At the end of the day it’s still football. I’ve been playing this game for a long time. I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing since I was a little kid, and that’s have fun and enjoy the game. Just make everybody around me better. The last week has been crazy, and it’s been a great experience. I can’t wait to just get out there.”
It does help that he has a familiar face not only on the team, but in his position group. The Bolts added fellow Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott as an undrafted free agent, which Williams notes adds an important layer of comfort.
“That’s great. It’s been something we’ve talked about ever since he got the call from the Chargers and told me he’d be in LA with me. It’s going to be great. He’s my roommate out here. We’re going to study together, and we’ll go out there and have some fun.”