Brandon Williams, an American football defender for the Baltimore Ravens, is one of the athletes in the NFL whose story could be called a true success story. He went from being a homeless little kid to a Division II contender and then became one of the best defensive tackles ever in the NFL.
Before being selected by the Ravens in the third round of the 2013 draft, he enjoyed a massively successful college career at the Missouri Southern State.
Brandon Williams’ Bio
He was born on February 21, 1989, as Brandon James Williams in Kirkwood, Missouri, the son of Brad Williams Jr. and Shelly Washington, whom he calls his hero. Williams has the nickname “Big Baby” and is very athletic. He had a difficult childhood because he was raised by a single mother and was homeless for a while, but that only helped shape him into what he is today.
The big baby attended Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton, Missouri, where he played a prominent role both in the classroom and on the field. Besides soccer, he also played discus and basketball. Among the many awards and mentions he received, he was on the school’s honor roll, an all-conference and all-state selection in defensive tackling, was named Suburban South Defensive Player of the Year, led the team with 99 tackles and seven sacks in 2006, before moving to Harmony Prep School in Cincinnati, Ohio for his senior year.
After his high school career, Williams transferred to Southern State University in Missouri. A true rookie, he played all the games and finished eighth on the team with 38 tackles. He also recorded three tackles for defeats and 1.5 sacks. When he entered his second season, he was put on the list of medical redshirts due to a back injury. In 2010, he became the third player ever to be named a three-time All-American from a Division II school after leading the Lions with nine sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. In his junior year, he was unanimously selected by the All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) and in his senior year, he was named MIAA Defensive Player of the Year.
He finished his college career at the top of the school in sacks (27) and finished second on the team with 68 tackles, 31 solos, including 16.5 for a defeat, third in sacks and tackles for a defeat, and second in forced punches in the MIAA.
Brandon Williams was the fourth player ever to be drafted from his school by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round (94th in total) during the 2013 draft. After a limited playing time in his first year as a substitute for Haloti Ngati, he became a regular starter for the 2014 season, with 54 tackles, half a sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery in 2014, 53 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 defended passes and 1 forced fumble in 2015, and 51 tackles, 1 sack and 1 defended a pass in 2016.
Even though Williams’ position in the league does not lead to an accumulation of statistics and he has not yet reached the Pro Bowl, a sharp look at the line of scrimmage could reveal why he is considered one of the best run-stuffers in the NFL. Aware of his value, the Ravens have retained one of their best defensive players and signed him in March 2017 for five years and $54 million, including a $12.5 million signing bonus and $27.5 million in warranties. With this contract, he became the highest-paid nose-tackle in NFL history.
Brandon Williams’ Family, Wife
Right after his massive contract with the Ravens, Brandon Williams also married. On July 1, 2017, he entered into a marriage with his long-time girlfriend Alyssa Karel. Alyssa is also on the sports side, having played women’s basketball in college at the University of Wisconsin.
The couple has two sons: Ryder Jaymes (born September 29, 2012) and Nash Calhoun (born August 2016).
Height, Weight, Body Stats
Since his pre-NFL days, Brandon Williams’ body frame has always attracted a lot of attention. When he entered the league, he also received a lot of attention for what he was able to do with his massive arms, such as running on them, which earned him more fame than his stats.
He stands 1.85 m (1.85 feet) above the ground and has a corresponding weight of 154 kg (340 lbs). His large arms, which he attributes to years of hard work, measure 32 5/8 inches (0.83 m) and his hand size is 9 3/4 inches (0.25 m).