Tag Archives: james williams

Williams, James ‘JD’ (1990 DB)

pset90 jdwilliamsCards: ProSet 1990, Score 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Work
Sent:  8/10    Received: 8/21   (11 days)

sco90 jdwilliamsFormer walk-on James ‘JD’ Williams was a standout defensive back from Fresno State, who boasted great measurables due in part to his track numbers. He ran the 100 meters in 10.58 seconds (4.29 40), had a triple jump of over 53 feet, and a vertical leap of 39 inches. JD also had some accolades and stats to go with it, earning First team All-Big West Conference selections as both a Junior and a Senior- his only two years as a starter.  He had 9 pass deflections, 58 tackles, and 4 sacks in 1989. Williams was also a dangerous special teams contributor, blocking 6 punts in 1988 (NCAA Division I-AA Record). With a smooth backpedal, solid tackling, and a natural bump and run defender, Williams shot up the draft charts that year.
aprks90 jwilliamsThe Buffalo Bills picked JD with the 16th selection of the 1990 Draft. He’d be the second defender off the board and the first cornerback overall. (Outside of safety Mark Carrier, this proved to be a poor draft overall for the secondary with only safety LeRoy Butler and corner Eric Davis even making ProBowl appearances.) Williams admittedly was not prepared for the rigors and competition at the NFL level.  JD was allowed to wear the hallowed #31 jersey that the Bills had retired to: ‘memorialize the spirit of the fan’… or something corny like that.  (Williams wore 31 in college.) He joined the Bills at the right time, providing much needed depth for the team to reach 4 consecutive Super Bowls.
aprks90 jwilliams BIn 1995 JD signed with the Arizona Cardinals, but in a twist of fate, he broke both of his ankles. It was his best season as a pro. He was never the same. Williams spent one season after that in San Francisco, and retired after the 1996 season.

From there Williams decided to finish his degree, and somewhere along the way got back into coaching. He’s been working at the college level for sometime now as a defensive backs coach with stops at Cal Poly, San Jose State, Fresno State, California, Washington and currently (as of 2015) at UNLV.

G/Gs 70/35      Tac 133        Sac 0        Fum 1
Int 11       Yds 74         Avg 6.7      Td  0        Lg  29

Williams, James “J-Roc”

Cards: Fleer 1995, Topps XFL 2001
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 11/11  Received: 12/5  (24 days)

Small bit of trivia here, as James Williams is one of a handful of players (if not the only player) to play for 3 expansion franchises, being the: Jacksonville Jaguars, (the reborn) Cleveland Browns, and the (XFL) San Fransisco Demons.

Drafted back in 1990 by the New Orleans Saints in the 6th round of the draft out of Mississippi State, Williams would be a nice find for the franchise and would spend his first 5 years with NO. He’d come in and sub nicely when one of the Dome Patrol needed a break during their twilight years together even starting 4 games in 1991, recording his first career sack against Chicago, along with 29 tackles and a fumble recovery. In 1993 J-Roc would start 9 games at left inside linebacker for injured Sam Mills and respond with a solid performance (89 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF).  With free agency in full effect by 1994, Williams again started for the Saints but this time at RILB, garnering 54 tackles, 2 picks and his first career touchdown.

Left exposed after the season for the 1995 Panthers/ Jaguars expansion draft, – James was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 49th pick. Williams started 6 games again, recording 2 more interceptions, 2 FF and 47 tackles but injuries cost him half of 1995 and all of 1996. He’d sign with the 49ers and be on the roster of the team through 1998.  He’d close out his NFL career in 1999 with the Browns with 2 FR and 11 tackles.

Williams’ career did not end there. He’d be drafted by the San Fransisco Demons of the XFL in 2001. Making the jump to play for the Demons he’d help the team earn a berth in the XFL’s Million Dollar Game leading the team with 43 tackles and 2 sacks. The XFL though, -a joint venture between the WWE and NBC died on the operating table that season due to bad ratings. Williams would retire after that season.

These were some really nice cards of J-Roc, and despite how people really tore them up the XFL had some really nice underpinnings to its design, hearkening back to classic college cards of the 50s and 60s. Just really inspiring! Sure the barbed wire effect is hilarious and dated even by those years standards, bloating the production value, but I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for them. The Fleer 1995 cards were also really nice, and this served as part of their 1st season of Jacksonville Jaguars cards.  Below are J-Roc’s NFL statistics.

G/Gs   137/26     Tac  254       Sac  3.0       Fum 4        Int  4     Yds  61      Avg       TD  1    lg 33