Undrafted – The Network

An Interview with Kordell Williams (LB) McNeese State University

College football is the breeding ground for future NFL stars. Every Saturday through the season the future Hall of Famers knock chunks out of each other on their way to the hallowed ground, the NFL. We have all heard of the Alabamas and Ohio States of the game but there are many more NCAA tams that make up Division I.

One such team is the McNeese State Cowboys who play in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Division. Recently the biggest export from this Division was Zach Wilson who went Number 2 overall to the New York Jets in the Draft only a couple of weeks ago.

I recently got the chance to ask some questions of Kordell Williams, a Redshirt Junior this coming season at McNeese. Kordell plies his trade at Linebacker after making the switch from Defensive Back part way through his college career. Kordell Redshirted his first year at McNeese in 2017 and so did not step onto the football field for them until 2018.


In 10 games that he featured in in 2018 he recorded 9 tackles and a tackle for loss. Kordell saw a much bigger role through the 2019 season, a season that he was third on the Cowboys with 63 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks and a recovered fumble.

The Cowboys have just wrapped up their Spring Schedule going 3-4 over that period. Kordell contributed a combined 48 tackles (28 solo and 20 assisted) along with 3 Quarterback hits and 1 pass break up. It’s now heads down aiming for the start of the 2021 season in September, the standout game for McNeese being Week 2 at LSU.

Kordell Williams (23)

Kordell didn’t have to take time out of his day to do this with us so I want to express my thanks at this stage to him for making the time to talk with me.

How did you get into football, was it always your favourite sport? Did athletics or wrestling ever seriously challenge it?

“I got into football at a young age, nobody in my family really played it before me. My older brother and I were the only ones that played. All of my uncles and older cousins played basketball and ran track. Wrestling challenged it in high school because I liked how competitive it was, it was always you vs. another guy and no matter whether you won or loss it was in your own hands.” 

Had you ever considered moving from DB to LB before your change at college? How did that conversation come about?

“I didn’t consider it. I always looked at myself as a true safety, whether it was playing nickel or playing up top. The position came about when Coach Wilson’s staff came and the DC that he hired said that he wanted to move me to linebacker because of my physicality and my nose for the football. It was challenging at first but I think I’m finally getting used to being inside the box every down.”

Are you still good on coverage when needed?

“Definitely. I feel like I’m one of the better linebackers in the conference when it comes to covering because my experience at playing safety and covering WRs so covering RBs and TEs is just second nature.”

Who do you model yourself on now, if you could follow in the footsteps of one player’s career who would it be?

“I would say Tyrann Mathieu because of the similar stature and my ability to sniff plays out and make tackles in open space. I also feel as if the energy I bring to my team is similar as well.”

Kordell Williams (23) – Image Credit (Leighton K. Chamblee Photography)
Do you have a favourite player who you’ve played against and if so do you still follow their career?

“I don’t have one individual player but I do follow multiple players that I’ve played against since high school. It’s pleasing to see guys that I’ve competed with since I was a young player continue to progress and play the game that we love.”

How did you convince McNeese to up your offer from a walk-on offer to a scholarship? Have you got any tips for future high school prospects?

“I really didn’t do any convincing, I was just going thru the recruiting process because I had been let down by so many other schools that promised scholarships but didn’t follow through with their promises. I just let my character, grades and film speak for me. They told me that they wanted me on their team and they followed through and made their actions match their words.”

Has there been one particular coach who you would say has had the greatest impact on your career to date?

“My defensive back coach from high school, Coach Stephen Barrett, he literally taught me all of the basics of football. I didn’t really know anything about football before he took me under his wing. I just knew that I enjoyed playing it and I had potential to do something special if I continued to play. He watched over me, kept me out of trouble, taught me the game from the simplest pieces of it to the more complex components of it as well.”

What’s your favourite food to eat before a game and do you have any pre-game routines?

“I don’t really have any favorite pregame foods, I just eat whatever the coaches provide. I have a prayer book that my girlfriend bought me about 3 years ago and before the games, whatever component I feel like I may need extra motivation in, I go in and read the page of that specific topic. That’s how I get ready.”

What team in the NFL do you feel would most suit your style of play?

“Any team that believes in me enough to give me that opportunity is the team that I’ll fit in the most. I feel like with the right preparation and coaching, I could fit in anywhere.”

Who is the one guy on your team, other than yourself of course, who we should know about? Who is going to the NFL with you?

“Andre Sam. He is the definition of a hardworking leader. Has the range to cover from sideline to sideline and makes the big plays every time they present themselves.”

Again, I want to thank Kordell for making the time for Undrafted. Roll on the new season and all the success for the McNeese State Cowboys team and for Kordell, Andre and the guys who are looking towards the Draft in 2022 after that.

Kordell Williams (23) – Image Credit (Leighton K. Chamblee Photography)

Remember we have a host of other articles and there are sure to be more interviews as well through the season.

If you enjoyed this please drop us a follow on twitter @UndraftedTN, and share your thoughts with us! Tell a friend as well!

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