While watching the NFL season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears last week, I saw an interesting stat about Packers defensive back Tramon Williams.

It said Williams, a former Assumption High School and Louisiana Tech University player, was the oldest member of the Packers team at age 36. He is also the oldest defensive back in the NFL.

It just made me think how amazing it is that Williams has enjoyed a long and prosperous career in the NFL.

When he graduated from Assumption in 2001, Williams didn’t exactly tear up the recruiting circuit. Back in those days, another local NFL player – Brandon Jacobs – got all the attention from recruiters.

As a former Morgan City High football player, I had a front-row seat watching Williams play during his high school career at Assumption. Those Mustangs teams were really good, and I remember seeing how talented Williams was back then. He was a major reason why the Mustangs had so much success.

I’ve talked with many of Williams’ former coaches and teammates and they have all mentioned that he was as athletic as they come, but the one thing that always stood out was how smart he was both on the football field and in the classroom. He is a true student of the game and that is one of the reasons why he has enjoyed a long professional career.

Williams went to Louisiana Tech to continue his playing days while working towards his degree in sociology and computer information services. He walked onto the football and continued to ball out and eventually worked his way into becoming a starting cornerback with the Bulldogs. He didn't start until his senior season at Tech. 

He didn’t get drafted in the 2006 NFL draft, but signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans.

After being released by the Texans, Williams found his new home in Green Bay, spending the nine seasons there and helping the Packers win Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers. During the playoff run, he had a memorable performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Round game, where he returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown. He had two interceptions and helped the Packers defeat the Falcons, 49-21. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2010.

Williams had stints with the Cleveland Browns (2015-16) and Arizona Cardinals (2017) before rejoining the Packers in 2018. He has played in 184 career games and has recorded 674 career tackles with 32 interceptions.

Williams kicked off his 13th NFL season with the Packers last week and he still looked young, fast and fresh going up against younger receivers. He’s a lot older and he is near the end of his career, but he is still a valuable veteran leader in the Green Bay defense.

I wish Williams nothing but the best this season in Green Bay.

He is truly one of the greatest football players to ever come from the Bayou Region. He has been underrated for a long time, and he deserves more praise for his accomplishments on the field and in mentoring young people.

“We want to inspire them and show them they can do anything with hard work,” Williams told me during an interview at the first-annual Bayou Boyz Youth Football Camp with Jacobs and Jordan Mills in Napoleonville back in May.

Williams is a great example for all young athletes in our area to follow, showing it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, but if you work hard and stay focused, you can make it in the NFL.

Staff writer Chris Singleton can be reached at 857-2213 or 448-1200 ext. 2213 or chris.singleton@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @courierchris.