WSU’s Dom Williams not stressing over NFL combine snub
Washington State wide receiver Dom Williams is 6 foot 2 and topped 1,000 yards receiving as part of the nation’s most prolific offense. And yet when the NFL Scouting Combine begins later this month in Indianapolis, the 25-year-old will still be working out privately in Bellevue, preparing for his Pro Day in hopes of getting noticed by the scouts.
The Ponoma, Calif., native told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore” that he’s trying not to think too much about why he wasn’t among the more than 300 invitees to the combine.
“I was always raised to live day-by-day,” Williams said. “It sucks not going to the combine but I’m still going to have my shot at Pro Day to show what I can do. And then hopefully I get invited to actually work out for some teams. I’m just taking it day-by-day and I’m really enjoying this experience.”
The redshirt senior caught 75 passes for 1,040 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. He finished his Cougs career with 192 receptions and 30 TDs.
Besides being older than most rookies, concerns associated with Williams include his inconsistent hands and potentially inflated numbers from WSU’s high-volume passing offense. He is most often projected as a seventh-round pick or undrafted free agent.
The good news for Williams is he will still get a chance to showcase his skills during WSU’s Pro Day, which is set for March 10.
“I love this game so much that I want to play at the next level,” he said. “So I’m doing everything I can: getting bigger, getting faster, working on every little thing technique-wise, details, so I can be able to get a shot at the next level.”
Other highlights from the conversation:
On his clutch TD catch against Oregon that forced overtime: “That was probably my top (touchdown ever). Literally I just jumped up and grabbed the ball. I barely seen it. The defender, he was right up on me, perfect position. I thought he was going to knock it away, but somehow it landed in my hands. I squeeze as tight as I can. My grandma always told me, ‘As soon as you feel the ball, just squeeze, you’ll catch it.'”
On his grandmother, who died days before the Oregon game: “That was my world, that was my rock; my best friend. I talked to her three or four times a day. She was my mom and dad growing up, she raised me through thick and thin. She had me in church all the time, provided every little thing for me.”
On how he ended up as a Cougar: “I actually didn’t know what Washington State was. At first I thought, Washington State, oh, Washington D.C. It was kind of goofy of me, but that was the first thing I thought.” But after he visited and met with players and coaches, “I was like, wow, this atmosphere is exactly what I need. Family environment, college town, everybody knows everybody. When people ask me how do you describe Pullman, why Pullman, it’s hard to describe unless you visit there. You’ve got to spend time there and then you’ll understand how Pullman is because it’s an amazing place.”
Leaving college life and his teammates: “I’m gonna miss playing with those guys. I built a bond with every single person on that team… It’s like nothing I’m gonna have again… I’m gonna really miss WS. That atmosphere, the fans. We’ve probably got the best fans in the country, hands down. And I’m going to really miss them.”
On WSU head coach Mike Leach: “I love Coach Leach. The thing I like about him is his philosophy never changes. No matter what the play call is, it’s up to us, the 11 of us on the field, to execute that play. He doesn’t scheme up teams. It’s all about competing because basically that’s what you’re doing – you’re competing against the man across from you. You’ve got one guy in front of you to beat. Are you going to get the best of him or is he going to get the best of you? And I love that philosophy. It never ever changed, it never budged. Not even a little bit.”
On how the Apple Cup would have turned out if QB Luke Falk hadn’t been injured: “I personally think (we would have won) but it’s all whoever is on the field. (Peyton) Bender is a great quarterback just like Luke. It would have been nice to have that calm, as we call him Cool Hand Luke, in our huddle, but I just think it was all up on us and we didn’t show up that day.”
His post-football ambitions: “My main goal – it should be everybody’s goal – is to change people’s lives. And I want to start with the prison systems. There’s a lot of corruption there and then I can work my way up to warden so I can have my own leeway on security and rewarding them. So it’s going to be a long road for me after football.”
How long he plans to follow his football dreams: “I’m not too sure about that. I love this game so much. I’m going to try and hopefully I get there. If not, I’m going to train and try again. If I have to approximate, I think I’m going to give about three years of just trying if I don’t make a team. But if I do make a team, oh, I’m going as long as possible. Until this body breaks down.”