Brandon Williams, an American football defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens is one of those athletes in the NFL you could describe their tale as a true success story. He went from a homeless little kid to being a Division II prospect and then, one of the best defensive tackles ever in the NFL.
Prior to his selection by the Ravens in the third round of the 2013 Draft, he enjoyed a massively successful college career at Missouri Southern State.
Brandon Williams’ Bio
He was born on February 21, 1989, as Brandon James Williams, in Kirkwood, Missouri to Brad Williams Jr. and Shelly Washington who he calls his hero. Williams is nicknamed big baby and is highly athletic. He had a tough childhood being raised by a single mother and was homeless for a period of time but that has only helped in shaping him into who he is today.
The big baby attended Rockwood Summit High School, Fenton, Missouri where he was a standout in the classroom as well as on the field. Besides football, he also played discus and basketball. Among the numerous awards and mentions he garnered, he was part of the school’s honor roll, an all-conference and all-state selection at defensive tackle, was named the Suburban South Defensive Player of the Year, led the team with 99 tackles and seven sacks in 2006 before transferring to Harmony Prep School in Cincinnati, Ohio for his senior year.
Following his high school career, Williams moved on to Missouri Southern State University. As a true freshman, he played in all the games and finished eighth on the team with 38 tackles. He also recorded three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Going into his sophomore season, a back injury moved him to the medical redshirt list. In 2010, he became the third player ever to be named a three-time All-American out of a Division II school after leading the Lions with nine sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. During his junior year, he was a unanimous selection by the All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) and in his senior year, the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year.
He finished his collegiate career leading the school in sacks (27) and was second on the team with 68 tackles, 31 solos, including 16.5 for a loss, as well as ranked third in sacks and tackles for loss and second in forced fumbles in the MIAA.
Brandon Williams was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round (94th overall) during the 2013 draft, the fourth player ever to be drafted from his school. After facing a limited playing time in his rookie year as a backup for Haloti Ngati, he became a regular starter going into the 2014 season. He recorded 54 tackles a half-sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery in 2014, 53 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 1 forced fumble in 2015, and 51 tackles, a sack, and a pass defended in 2016.
Although Williams’ position in the league is not one that piles up stats, and he is yet to make the Pro Bowl, with a keen eye on the line of scrimmage, it could become clear why he is regarded as one of the NFL’s best run-stuffers. Knowing his value, the Ravens made a move to retain one of their top defensive linemen by signing him to a five-year, $54 million contract extension in March 2017 including a $12.5 million signing bonus and $27.5 million guaranteed. With the contract, he became the highest-paid nose tackle in NFL history.
Brandon Williams’ Family, Wife
Right on the heels of his massive contract with the Ravens, Brandon Williams got married as well. He tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Alyssa Karel on July 1, 2017. Alyssa is also on the athletic side as she played college women’s basketball at the University of Wisconsin.
The couple has two sons: Ryder Jaymes (born September 29, 2012) and Nash Calhoun (born August 2016).
Height, Weight, Body Stats
Going back to his pre-NFL days, Brandon Williams’ body frame has always garnered a lot of attention. Coming into the league, he has also received a lot of attention for what he was able to do with his massive arms like walking on them which gained him more fame than his stats did.
He stands 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) above the ground while sporting a matching weight of 340 lbs (154 kg). His large arms whose size he attributes to years of hard work measures 32 5⁄8 inches (0.83 m) and his hand size is 9 3⁄4 inches (0.25 m).