Up close with South KC native Xavier Williams
By Sam Kombrink
Before you read this exclusive interview, I would like to congratulate the Kansas City Chiefs football organization on a season that I will never forget. And I want to reassure Chiefs fans that they still have unfinished business.
Before the divisional match up with the Indianapolis Colts, I had the opportunity to talk with Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Lineman and Grandview’s very own Xavier Williams.
The 6-foot 4-inch, 27-year-old nose tackle finished the 2018-19 season playing in all 16 regular season games, and started in four. Williams recorded 47 total tackles, 25 solo tackles, 22 assisted tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
Williams graduated from Grandview High School where he earned First Team All-Metro and First Team All-Conference honors while playing for the Bulldogs. He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he earned All-Missouri Valley honors and set a school record for blocking. Williams signed with the Arizona Cardinals where he played for three years before joining the Chiefs in 2018.
I started off by congratulating him on winning another AFC West title.
Q: When the numbers show that this defense ranks in the bottom of the league, and you hear the national media bash this Chiefs Defense, does it give extra motivation going into the postseason?
A: “I mean yeah it definitely does. You know we got something to go out and prove. We don’t have to be the number one defense. We just got to be the top defense out of eight teams that are left.”
Q: Who were your idols growing up in Grandview.
A: “Well I was fortunate enough to have my older brother play football in college so I always had him to look up to and get advice from. [His brother Rodrick played football for the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats.] Professionally, my favorite player of all-time is Derrick Thomas. When I was younger I actually got to meet him a few times, so that was overall a welcoming experience. I watched how he played the game and tried to mimic that intensity and passion.”
Q: How did growing up playing football in south KC impact the way that you play today?
A: “I play the game for the fun of it. When you’re having fun, it gives you a certain passion. Just having a good time, playing relaxed, going out there and giving it your all, then let the chips fall where they will. That’s the approach I’ve always kept my whole career in college and everything. Just go out and have fun with it, and you know when you’re relaxed, you play the best.”
Q: What are your hobbies when not on the gridiron?
“I’m a gamer. I play a lot of video games. Call of Duty, etc, takes up pretty much a lot of my free time when I’m not with my daughter or going over football. Other than that I like to get a little reading in when I can That’s about it.”
Q: Some readers may not know that you actually had your very own day (September 16) gifted by the great city of Grandview. So what exactly goes down on Xavier Williams Day?
A: “Honestly, I had to miss the that day because I was playing up in Pittsburgh that Sunday. So unfortunately, I wasn’t around for Xavier Williams Day. But man it was a great honor.”
I wish Xavier the best this offseason.
Twitter : Samborooski