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Sam Williams is the first Rebel off the board in the NFL Draft

The big man from a small town is now a Cowboy

Ole Miss v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Defensive end Sam Williams notched some of the best numbers in college football last season, posted incredible numbers at the NFL Combine, and on Friday became the No. 56 pick to the Dallas Cowboys.

The road to the League was long and winding as he started out at Northeast Mississippi Community College before making the leap to Ole Miss. His junior season was the final year for former head coach Matt Luke, and while Williams led the team with six sacks, he did not receive huge buzz going into 2020. He grabbed four more sacks in a COVID-shortened season and decided to come back for a final season in Oxford in 2021 - boy, was that a helluva decision.

Williams tied an Ole Miss record with 10.5 sacks in his senior season, recorded four forced fumbles to rank 10th nationally, made All-SEC first team, and selected as an All American second team defensive end. He wowed at the NFL Combine with a 4.46 forty yard dash standing at 6’4” 261 lbs. and clearly made an impression on the Dallas Cowboys.

Still, with all his accolades, Big Sam took to Twitter absolutely humble.

Williams reportedly ran a 4.38 at his Ole Miss Pro Day, which is clearly very good and damn near other-worldly. I can absolutely imagine owner Jerry Jones seeing the film and metrics on his new defensive end, getting overly giddy, and paying him a truckload of cash.

The Dallas spotlight and national media attention is always a huge factor for any player drafted in the first two rounds by the Cowboys. But if Williams can show up on gameday like he has for the Rebels, he will quickly become a household name for his ability to get to the quarterback and make gamechanging plays.