MOBILE, Ala. — Tuesday morning seemed oh-so familiar to Chad Williams.
The former Grambling receiver walked shirtless across a stage in front of hundreds of reporters and NFL scouts while being measured and weighed.
“I’m a little used to it. We did the same thing last week at the NFLPA (Collegiate Bowl),” Williams said after stepping off the stage Tuesday morning at the Senior Bowl scouting weigh-in. “There were about 200-300 people in the room there. I think this might have had a few more.”
Williams, a Baton Rouge native and former Madison Prep star, is on his second all-star game in two weeks. He was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, replacing an injured invitee. He’s been working at practice with the second group of receivers for the South team, flashing the skills that made him an FCS All-American last season.
Others are noticing.
“He’s a tough one, man,” LSU receiver Travin Dural said. “He’s doing things I’m shocked to see. Very good player, very talented. He gets a chance to showcase his skills, being from a smaller school. He’s showing some toughness.”
That unfolded during Wednesday afternoon’s practice, when Williams and a defensive back from Miami were embroiled in a skirmish. Other players and coaches separated the two.
“I’m just going to show these guys who I am,” the 6-1, 204-pounder said earlier in the week. “I’m not going to change nothing about my identity. I just want everybody to know who Chad Williams is.”
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Williams caught one pass for 10 yards in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday in Carson, California, but he impressed scouts and media during the week of practice. A day before that game on Friday, Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage sent the Senior Bowl invite, through email, to Williams’ agent, Martin Fischman.
Fischman called Williams.
“I was actually on the bus, just left (NFLPA Collegiate Bowl) walk-throughs,” said Williams, who had six 100-yard receiving games last season as a senior. “I was sitting in the first seat on the bus. I had just laid my head back. My phone buzzed, answered it and he was like, ‘Hey man. Got the invite to the Senior Bowl, baby! We’re going!’”
Savage and the Senior Bowl staff had monitored Williams during his 11-touchdown senior year in 2016. He had help from Shack Harris, the former Grambling quarterback who worked with Savage in the past with the Baltimore Ravens.
“Shack keeps me up to speed on Tiger football,” Savage said smiling.
Williams, projected as a late-round draft pick, is taking advantage of the late invitation, battling guys who competed in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten.
“I don’t consider anybody big boys and me a small guy,” he said. “Like my old coach says, ‘Those guys put their pants on one leg at a time, just like I do.’ Some guys are more fortunate. Some guys jump in their pants, put them ion two legs at a time. But we have the same stuff, same opportunities, same playing field. We’re going to see what happens.”