This is the fifth and final feature on this year’s LA Tech Athletic Hall of Fame class.
By Amber Barker
Tramon Williams is no stranger to hard work.
As a freshman in high school, he started working in the south Louisiana cane fields as a laborer for his uncle, doing everything from washing tractors, to helping weld and cut grass and whatever else was needed. And he did it every summer until the trajectory of his life and football career changed. But the path for the Super Bowl Champion cornerback was anything but a straight line.
“I knew I had a lot of ability but why wasn’t I getting recruited? I knew I was willing to prove my ability was better than anyone I went up against. It was a little bit of all of that on my shoulders,” he said, as he recalled questioning the lack of interest from college football programs.
Then he and his best friend decided to go to Louisiana Tech to get their engineering degrees.
“I didn’t know if I would play football or not, but I knew when I had to hit the real world, I would have to have a backup plan,” said Williams. That backup plan included switching his major to computer information systems, as well as making a name for himself on both the college and NFL levels and now will entail him being inducted into the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 7.
“My initial reaction was mixed feelings because I never really set out to do this. I was just a kid from a small town, who grew up working hard, playing football, and working jobs,” he said. “I grew up playing football starting at age 5. It was a lifelong journey, that I didn’t know at the time it would turn out to be that.”
Williams’ status from student to student-athlete changed when he decided to tryout for the Bulldog football team. Not knowing how the process went kept him from pursuing the goal at the start of his freshman year, but after exploring the process more, including getting in touch with his high school guidance counselor and registering with the NCAA Clearinghouse, he took the chance.
“I decided to walk on spring of freshman year going into sophomore year. I had to talk to the coaches, and they told me to walk on,” he remembered. After talking to the coaches, as well as some of the current football athletes to get a feel for the team environment, he went out for spring football.
“I played offense and defense in high school, so I had to choose which one. They were stacked at the receiver position, so I decided on the defensive side of the ball – corner. Initially I was third or fourth string right away, and I had an opportunity to make an impact with any type of ability. I had a really good spring camp with the team, and the coaches invited me back for training camp the next year.”
So, he returned home for the summer and worked. This time putting in 10-hour days for a contractor company before training for football.
“When I got home from that job, I didn’t have a place to work out – I had to find my own path. I would go in the street and just run,” he recalled.
“I would imagine myself running 110s, I don’t know how far it actually was; I would run 10 or 12 110s and do some DB drills in my yard; wasn’t lifting weights or anything – I didn’t have those resources. I wanted to make sure I was in shape more than anything.”
He trained like this every day until camp started that August.
During his first year of playing for the Bulldogs, Williams rarely saw action, as he was “just getting my feet wet and up to the speed of the game.” The second year, however, he recalled being given more opportunities.
“My sophomore year I played well, and the coaches started to trust me. Every time I went on the field, I would always make a play – knocking the ball out, causing an interception – every time I got on the field, I made something happen,” he recalled. “My teammates would always give me compliments – that started feeding my confidence. But I still had guys in front of me who had paid their dues, they were good players, and I had to wait my turn and eventually it would happen.”
At the end of his second playing season, it did happen. Williams’ efforts were rewarded in the form of an athletic scholarship.
“I got a chance to call my parents to tell them we don’t have to keep paying for school. I [went] from just a walk on in most people’s eyes – they might not take me seriously – to now I’m a scholarship athlete,” he reminisced.
The trust from his coaching staff and teammates, as well as the support of one special young lady, gave him the confidence to continue to follow his dreams. He met Shan Moore-Williams, a standout Lady Techster basketball player, during his sophomore season, and notes her encouragement helped push him in a positive direction.
“My life that I’m living is really circulated around going to Tech; it’s a special place to me – I met my wife there; when I was going through the process of walking on, she was there from the start. She was a big-time recruit, and I was a scrub at the time,” he said with a laugh. “But the support was there; she was special to me at that point in time and made my focus on football that much easier.”
Williams went on to earn first team all-Western Athletic Conference honors while leading the team in interceptions in each of his final two years in Ruston. After his collegiate career, he spent 15 years in the NFL, recording 34 career interceptions, before retiring in 2021 as a Super Bowl champion for the Green Bay Packers.
“I feel like God set me on a path and gave me a journey unique to me. I’ve changed lives, and my life was also changed,” he said. “Me going into the Hall of Fame means I did what I was supposed to do with the craft I was given. I feel I was on the right path, and the induction says I made the right decision.”
The induction ceremony will take place Friday, Oct. 7 on Karl Malone Court at the Thomas Assembly Center. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the reception starting at 6 p.m. and the ceremony beginning at 7 p.m.
Tickets are still available. Ticket prices are $50 for one ticket or $400 for a table of eight. Any interested can click HERE.
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