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Texans_Chick
06-19-2006, 09:33 PM
Nice job with this.

Texans website link (http://www.houstontexans.com/news/detail.php?PRKey=2639&section=N%20Latest%20News)

Molding Mario
June 19, 2006
By Carmine Pirone
HoustonTexans.com


Over the past few months, the Texans have learned what most of North Carolina already knew: Mario Williams is a pretty special person. Most of that credit goes to Mary Williams, Mario’s mother. Mary raised Mario and the rest of the Williams’ family by herself and, by all accounts, did an outstanding job. The matriarch of the Williams family was glowing Saturday as Richlands N.C. honored her son. Strength and independence abound from the elder Williams, two qualities that are vital in any single parent.

But to say she shaped her son all by herself would be to discount the influence of two of Mario’s male role models.

Kevin Wilson is a humble man. Sitting quietly Friday night at a dinner in honor of his most prized football pupil, he said little unless asked. He kept his distance, making sure Williams was the star of the day.

Wilson took over a floundering Richlands football team in the late 90’s. That all changed one day when Wilson made his way over to Richlands middle school to talk to eighth graders that were interested in playing football the following season. It was then that he first met the future Texans’ number-one draft pick.

“Right there you could see he had the size,” Wilson said. “I gave him the summer workouts. He came. He was pretty agile for his size and at that time our football program was in its infancy.”

Wilson made a decision. Williams would play varsity football as a freshman in high school and soon he found himself at the doorstep to the Williams’ home.

“I went to his mom and said, ‘I realize he’s only 14 years old, but I want to play him against 17-year olds.’”

After some convincing, Mary relented and soon Richlands went from a two-win team to 11 wins in Williams’ junior season, and 10 wins during his senior campaign.

Williams not only played as a freshman, he started. Through his career at Richlands, there were not many positions he didn’t play under Wilson ’s guidance: defensive line, linebacker, tight end and even running back. Whatever the coach needed, Williams was willing to do it.

“One of things that he did was that he was a tireless worker,” Wilson said. “A lot of kids saw this kid with a lot of talent and he was really working hard and he inspired those around him. He just didn’t elevate his teammates on those Friday nights, but probably during the most important time, during the week, during the offseason.”

That doesn’t sound like a player who was critiqued by some for taking plays off in college. Wilson doesn’t buy it.

“Different people have different perceptions," he said. "A lot of it has to do with egos, jealousy. They were saying the same things about him in high school, that he doesn’t play as hard when the ball’s not coming at him. It was all basically a bunch of bull. People didn’t know what they were talking about.”

With such a talent, conventional wisdom would suggest that Wilson had to do little to improve a player that garnered visits from the likes of Ohio State and Tennessee . Think again.

“I constantly looked at different ways to try and get him to improve as he got stronger,” Wilson said. “We had somebody (Mario) here that had real long legs and long arms. I think when he put that weight on his senior year, he went from about 215, 225 to 250 (pounds). That elevated him to All-America status.

“Most guys get redshirted as a freshman, that’s just standard. He finished school early, got to go train at N.C. State and have an opportunity to start in the fall and that’s the vision that we had for him.”

Enter N.C. State head coach Chuck Amato. If Wilson built the foundation for Williams’ football frame, it was Amato who sculpted him into one of the most intimidating athletes in college athletics. Unlike Wilson , Amato is easily noticeable. Casually sporting designer sunglasses on the sideline and a colorful personality that endears him to the Raleigh community, Amato is not one to sit in the shadows.

His coaching resume speaks for itself. Widely recognized as one of the best defensive minds in college football, Amato spent 18 seasons under Bobby Bowden at Florida State, helping the legendary coach win two National Championships. In 2000, he returned to his alma mater where he’s produced five first-round selections, including three this past season.

Like Wilson , Amato quickly took notice of the first number-one overall NFL draft pick in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It was right after his 10th grade year,” Amato said. “It wasn’t hard to notice him. Then he came to our camp and the rest is a lot of work.”

Amato made the trek to Richlands twice to watch Williams in action, once each in his junior and senior seasons. The proximity of Raleigh and Amato brought Williams to the Wolfpack. He graduated early and began his college career like he had his high school career, by starting.

“He was there," Amato said. “We put him there right away. We wanted to see what he could do and how much he could absorb. The first day of spring practice, he was there.”

A highly touted prospect and a hand-picked starter, Williams had every excuse to get comfortable and coast into his freshman season. His work ethic, however, wouldn’t allow it.

“The thing about it, he knew he was going to get the job, but he knew he would be pressed and he worked at it,” Amato said. “He really worked at it. Was he ready right away as freshman? No. But what he learned in his battles helped him tremendously by the end of his freshman year.”

Even then, Amato said, Williams wasn’t necessarily destined for NFL greatness. But Williams grew and grew some more and three years and 30 pounds later, he found himself anchoring the best defensive line in college football. Still, the top selection was something that even the veteran coach never envisioned.

“That’s hard to imagine,” Amato said when asked if he thought Williams would go number one. “I’m not naive, I knew he was leaving. Next year was going to be our year. John McCargo was going to be a senior, Mario was going to be a senior and they’re both in the NFL now. And to think to go number-one overall. I was at Florida State for 18 years and we never had one to my knowledge and he’s the first in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. It’s something that will live with him forever.”

Amato's and Wilson’s work is done now. They, like so many others in Williams’ home state, can only watch as their prodigy takes his skills to the next level.

Williams was picked first and handed a starting spot. That’s a lot of pressure for a 21-year old from a town of less than a thousand, but it’s nothing new to Mario Williams.

Honoring Earl 34
06-19-2006, 09:46 PM
Thanks Chick for feeding our football cravings in this meek period . That was a nice read about a kid who just worked hard and landed at our doorstep . I'll take Mario anytime ... no Reggie no Vy .

shinerbock_girl
06-20-2006, 06:24 PM
Thanks Chick for feeding our football cravings in this meek period . That was a nice read about a kid who just worked hard and landed at our doorstep .I'll take Mario anytime ... no Reggie no Vy .


Coming from soneone who was a Reggie fan, i totally agree...After research on Mario iam happy they picked Mario...And i'm not afraid to admit when i was wrong...This time i'm glad i'm wrong....Mario is just what we need, someone to get really MEAN....:brickwall

Buffi2
06-20-2006, 10:20 PM
USA today has an article on whether the Texans made a mistake drafting Mario along with a poll here is the link:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-06-20-williams-
cover_x.htm

Last I looked - pro-Mario was winning at 46%. It is a very long article - but quite good. Mario even talks about his toenail operation.

Go Texans!:mario:

Texans_Chick
06-20-2006, 10:44 PM
USA today has an article on whether the Texans made a mistake drafting Mario along with a poll here is the link:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-06-20-williams-
cover_x.htm

Last I looked - pro-Mario was winning at 46%. It is a very long article - but quite good. Mario even talks about his toenail operation.

Go Texans!:mario:


Awesome article. Thanks for letting us know. This part hurts to read:

A painful toenail problem after his foot was stepped on during practice has slowed Williams' development in minicamp. The toenails of both big toes were removed and forced Williams to wear cleats with the toe section cut away. He expects to be back at full strength by the end of the month.

"Getting the toenails removed didn't hurt," he says. "Now the shot they give you, that hurts. They put a three-inch needle right in the bone and rotate it around your foot."

mexican_texan
06-20-2006, 10:47 PM
^^ouch....cringing in pain....:crying:

edo783
06-20-2006, 10:47 PM
The link doesn't seem to pull up the artical anymore.

TwinSisters
06-20-2006, 10:49 PM
As more people get to know Mario Jerrell Williams, he has discovered the impact of being the NFL's No. 1 pick.

In college, he says, the girls "didn't want me. People tell me, 'Mario, you don't get pretty overnight.'

"But now, every time I go out, they're like, 'Oh, Mario! Why haven't you called me?' They're (instant-messaging) me all the time. You get a lot of people throwing themselves at you. I just try to avoid those situations."

eheh. Welcome to the NFL my man.

TwinSisters
06-20-2006, 10:50 PM
The link doesn't seem to pull up the artical anymore.

you have to use the full URL

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-06-20-williams-cover_x.htm

blockhead83
06-20-2006, 10:52 PM
USA today has an article on whether the Texans made a mistake drafting Mario along with a poll here is the link:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-06-20-williams-
cover_x.htm

Last I looked - pro-Mario was winning at 46%. It is a very long article - but quite good. Mario even talks about his toenail operation.

Go Texans!:mario:

That's a great article. It has some stuff I hadn't read yet; I think it's cool Ryans and Williams were roomies for a while. The link you gave didn't work, so here's the link I used... http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-06-20-williams-cover_x.htm.

Ibar_Harry
06-21-2006, 01:15 AM
Yep, VY is special and so is Bush. We have Mario and he may well become the Earl of Houston. I hope this guy just keeps his head on his shoulders like he has so far. So far its like a dream come true for this team. He's special and you see it in everything he does.

the wonger need food
06-21-2006, 08:35 AM
you have to use the full URL

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-06-20-williams-cover_x.htm

Best article so far this offseason...

Runner
06-21-2006, 08:48 AM
If that's true, then the Texans will be vindicated — and McNair can envision the scenario.

"Say we picked Reggie Bush, and two years later we were still losing," he says, standing on the sideline during a recent minicamp practice. "People will ask me what's wrong, and I would say, 'Well, we picked Reggie Bush because that's who you wanted.'

"And they'll say, 'Why did you do that? We're just fans. We don't know anything!' "

Then McNair laughs, like a man who is content with the decision he has made.


Who says the owner doesn't have a grasp on football and his customers?

Double Barrel
06-21-2006, 10:13 AM
Everything I read about Mario just reinforces that he was a great pick for this team. I think he'll end up elevating everyone around him, and along with D.Rob and [hopefully] Ryans, we've got some young guys that will be the foundation of a dominant defense for years to come.

Texans34Life
06-21-2006, 06:37 PM
Update on Mario:

Texans | Williams expects to be at full strength soon
Wed, 21 Jun 2006 06:03:36 -0700

Chris Colston, of USA Today, reports Houston Texans DE Mario Williams (foot) is wearing cleats with the toe section cut away during practices. He is expecting to be back at full strength by the end of the month.

Second Honeymoon
06-21-2006, 07:51 PM
Dude better be ready to play come Opening Day. That is all I know. We know all the people they passed on to draft this workout warrior, and if he turns out to be a bust, I would like to personally punt Kubiak's arse in the direction of College Station. That way he could drag another embarassing joke of a football program deeper into the abyss. The Aggies are currently an embarassment to the State of Texas and the Texans are following the same precipitous flightpath.

Doug from The Woodlands

BTW Did I mention that the Aggies are an embarassment...Male Cheerleading and a Losing program..way to go Fran

SnakeOilTanker
06-21-2006, 08:34 PM
ESPN's Chris Mortenson is reporting the Texans have signed Mario Williams.






any Rick Ballou fans in the house?

Mr. White
06-22-2006, 11:27 AM
The sidebar on the USA Today article. Pretty funny.

Williams, 250 pounds as a college freshman, would return home on weekends whenever he could, spending much of his time in nearby Jacksonville, N.C. Wilson asked him why.

"That's where I eat," Williams said.

"Why Jacksonville?" Wilson said. "There are plenty of places to eat here in Richlands."

"'Coach, if I go to Burger King or McDonald's, I have to order four Whoppers or Big Macs just to get full,'" Wilson said Williams told him. "' I can't afford it. In Jacksonville, I can go to the Golden Corral buffet and eat all I want.'"

AFD1717
06-22-2006, 12:29 PM
He can't afford to eat at McDonalds or BK? Didn't we just give this guy 50 million dollars? I'd get fries and a shake too.

Runner
06-22-2006, 12:35 PM
He can't afford to eat at McDonalds or BK?

That was then.

Didn't we just give this guy 50 million dollars? I'd get fries and a shake too.

This is now.

ledzeppelin229
06-22-2006, 12:36 PM
He can't afford to eat at McDonalds or BK? Didn't we just give this guy 50 million dollars? I'd get fries and a shake too.

He was talking about as a college freshman.

AFD1717
06-22-2006, 12:42 PM
He was talking about as a college freshman.

I should have read the whole thing. Sorry.

Runner
06-22-2006, 12:50 PM
I should have read the whole thing. Sorry.

No big deal.

I remember seeing an interview with Nate Newton one time. The reporter asked him if he had any interesting stories about being so big. He must have been a rookie or something, because he was sent to McDonald's by himself to get food for the o-line. I don't remember the exact list, but you can imagine: he orders 20 qtr pounders, 15 big mac, 20 supersized fires, etc. The person taking his order looks at him and says, "Will that be for here or to go?"

TwinSisters
06-22-2006, 01:34 PM
Wait... did you say Nate Newton?

Food for the O-Line. Har har very funny. Excellant cover story too.

AFD1717
06-22-2006, 04:55 PM
Is anyone suprised that Nate frequently had the munchies?