By Kyra Hallett
Mike Williams, WR, #19
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Michael Anthony Williams was born on May 18, 1987 in Buffalo, New York. He attended Riverside Institute of Technology for high school. While there, he was selected as Prep Star All-Region and to first-team Class AA All-State. In 2006, Buffalo News named him to the All-Western New York team. In his senior year, Williams recorded 970 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns on offense. On defense, as a defensive back, he recorded 35 tackles and two interceptions. Williams also lettered in basketball and received Buffalo News All-Western New York accolades in that sport, as well.
Williams attended Syracuse University where he majored in communication and rhetorical studies. As a true freshman, in 2006, Williams lead the team with 24 receptions for 461 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he was an All-Big East second team selection. He also tied the school record with 60 receptions with 837 yards and 10 touchdowns. In Williams’ career at Syracuse, he started in 22-of-29 games, recording 133 receptions for 2,044 yards and 20 touchdowns. Those stats ranked him fifth on the Orange all-time record chart.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Williams in the fourth round, 101st over all in the 2010 NFL Draft. On June 4, 2010, he signed a four year deal with the Bucs. Williams started all 16 games his rookie year and led all rookies with 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. His first game came against the Cleveland Browns. Williams had five receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown against the Browns. The 11 touchdowns he made the first season was a franchise record for the Bucs for most receiving touchdowns in a single season. If that showed any indication of what the Bucs would get out of him for the next four years, they made a great draft pick.
His stats went down in his second season. In 2011, Williams had 65 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns. So far in the 2012 season, he has been quarterback Josh Freeman’s second receiver behind Vincent Jackson. This season Williams has 219 yards, two touchdowns in four games. He also set a career long when he received a ball for 65 yards in the game versus the Washington Redskins in Week Four.
Head coach Greg Schiano has been impressed with Williams so far. “I’m glad he’s on our team,” said Schiano. “He’s a great competitor, comes to work everyday and tries to get better; then produces on the field.”
Williams has also been a big part of the community. He signs autographs for fans and works with children. He has worked with underprivileged youth and visited retirement homes. Williams has also visited patients in the hospitals. He has visited Metropolitan Ministries and helped prepare food and afterward spent time with the children in the program. He has given away game tickets, autographed jerseys and footballs. This season, he participated in helping a local elementary school get a cover over their court and new athletic equipment. He participated in several football skills with the students.
The Tampa Bay area hopes that Mike Williams stays around for awhile to continue his charity within the community and continue with his success on the field.
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.