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On The Fringe Of 53: Trey Williams


Running back Trey Williams is a boisterous presence off the field, which has become infectious in the locker room as he waits for a chance to play on Sundays.

Walk into the Redskins locker room, and as long as running back Trey Williams is present, there's a good chance you'll hear him singing -- by his locker, walking into the shower, next to a couple of teammates.

It's one way to tell you he's in a good mood (he recently belted out some Christmas tunes), but that he's also comfortable being himself, an undrafted rookie, in a locker room full of NFL veterans and journeymen, the kinds of people that usually don't take too kindly to new guys drawing attention to themselves.

But there's some real talent in his sometimes silly renditions of ballads, enough to earn some respect. It's a hobby that he took up with Christine Michael, a running back with the Cowboys, who was his teammate when the two played together at Texas A&M.

"My singing is something I'll do in the offseason," Williams said. "We do a lot things and that's one of our hobbies. I like to sing and he likes to rap. We just make good music."

That's for others to decide, but his confidence in his singing skills easily stretches to the football field, where in four Redskins preseason games, along with his opportunities during practice, he's shown off his ability to shift, shake and shimmy nearly as much as the vibrations in his voice.

At 5-foot-7, 195 pounds, Williams gave some flashes of his quickness and agility in the preseason, where he rushed 31 times for 127 yards, 52 of which came against the Lions at home. He didn't make the team during final cuts but was signed to the practice squad shortly after, an indication that his limited performance caught the right attention.

But the consolation prize of sticking with an NFL team wasn't exactly something Williams was content with. He excelled throughout his time at Texas A&M, playing in at least 11 games each year there, beginning as a freshman. Sitting out was foreign territory.

"I didn't expect anything like this to be on the practice squad," Williams said. "That's something new because I've always played, pretty much all my life. I look at it as this being my redshirt year and just getting better from here. Learning from Chris [Thompson], learning from Alfred [Morris], learning from DY [Darrel Young]; you know those vets, and just getting better."

That seems to be an appropriate way to interpret his position with team – attending all the meetings, practicing with the team, watching all the film. Sundays, however, he stays home.

It requires patience, a lot of it, something he learned with the Aggies waiting for his number to be called. He's exhibiting that now with the Redskins, trying to stay focused on each day knowing an injury could mean a rapid promotion and his first taste of the NFL.

Not dealing with schoolwork and the requisite time constraints at a University help, too.

"We do so much of the same thing as we do in college," Williams said. "We all just have fun and we don't have school or study hall. Our study hall is studying plays, studying the defenses, and studying opponents; that's our homework. That's the beautiful thing about it: it is the game you love."

Right now, Williams is living in Ashburn, Va., with linebacker Houston Bates, also on the practice squad. It's been a great fit, even though he claims Bates forgets to lock their apartment door sometimes.

Still, Ashburn is quite a change from Houston, where Williams grew up. The pace was faster there, and Williams, a louder kind of player, has had to adjust to the slower lifestyle.

"I always will miss Houston," Williams said. "D.C. is lovely. D.C. is a nice city. They have all kinds of things that you can do out there, and my family will come down and we'll go to D.C. Ashburn has the ice skating rink and that's about it. But for the most part it's a family deal in Ashburn, and it's nice and quiet."

Unless, of course, Williams is singing. And while most players don't mind his karaoke in the locker room, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois would prefer him to stay quiet, and has somewhat facetiously told him to tone it down on occasion.

Williams doesn't seem intimidated.

"Ricky is just mad he can't sing," Williams said jokingly. "Ricky's just mad that people can sing and he's real, real big, and a lot of people are scared of him. He's just a big monster looking dude."




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