NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With the No. 194 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected running back Dexter Williams out of Notre Dame.
"The Green Bay Packers stepped up and gave me the opportunity and I'm so thankful," said Williams via phone.
Williams and his mother, Cheryl, broke down in tears when he received the call from the Packers, as they once thought she may never live to see the day her son would get drafted. In 2006, she was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease. Last spring, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, and doctors gave her three to five years to live.
“To have her here for this moment, this was something she wanted to see her son do," Williams said. "She's my guardian angel. She’s my support. I just want to share these times with her as much as I can.”
The 5-foot-11, 212-pound running back produced his best college season last year. He rushed for 995 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine games. Although, he was suspended for the first month of the season.
Williams was arrested earlier on in his Notre Dame career. He said he's now a changed person, as he owned up to his mistakes. He added his mother's influence helped him turn himself around.
“I’m not the same guy I was then, and I don’t plan on turning back at all now that I have this opportunity," said Williams.
On 158 carries, he averaged 6.3 yards per rush after recording a 9.2 average the year before in a part-time role (39 carries, 360 yards). His 97-yard rushing touchdown against Virginia Tech last season was the second-longest in Notre Dame history.
Williams said this opportunity from the Packers means a lot to him and his mother, and he can't wait to get started.