clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How a broken neck made Clemson's Mike Williams a more dangerous wide receiver

Mike Williams was a dominant force for a powerhouse college football team with sky-high potential. A broken neck looked to threaten all that ... but Williams had other ideas.

Watch on YouTube | Subscribe to SB Nation on YouTube

It's a gift to be able to talk about the worst injury of your career with levity, especially when the last thing you want to be talking about is the worst injury of your career, again. Which is why Mike Williams' eyes went wide when I asked him the worst thing you can do in a neck brace.

"Uh ... I don't think I can say. Probably not appropriate."

OK, what about the second worst?

"Same," then he flashes a smile and starts to crack up, talking about breaking his neck after colliding with a goal post at full speed. Williams has escaped permanent paralysis, fought off the frustration and boredom of I.R., and managed to stay sane while watching his Clemson Tigers go all the way to the national championship.

His neck is healed and he is fine, although statistics would imply he's something much better than that -- with 20 catches in just four games, Williams is on pace for his most prolific year at Clemson. He's out of the brace, and the Tigers' offensive staff said he's become "another level of dangerous" with a full year to do nothing but study route trees and defenses.

That's why he's laughing everything off. Even a broken neck.