Apr 27, 2013 10:43 PM by Andrew Masuda
Cal Poly All-American Deonte Williams signed a contract as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders on Saturday shortly after the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft. Williams grew up in Sacramento and calls himself a life-long Raiders fan.
"It's an amazing feeling. Growing up being a Raider fan, being born in Oakland, and you know my whole life always cheering for the Raiders and to put that uniform on, that's black and silver. Whoo! I can't wait, I really can't wait. Words can't explain it, I'm just a Raider at heart," said Williams during a phone interview with KSBY Sports.
Williams said a team official called him when there were only a few more picks to go in the seventh and final round of the draft and offered him a chance to sign with the team. The contract does not guarantee Williams a spot on the Raiders 2013 roster, but it allows him an opportunity to go to the team's training camp to earn one. It's similar to what happened to linebacker Kyle Shotwell following his All-American season at Cal Poly six years ago.
"Of course I would love to have been drafted, but I'm just happy for this opportunity man that's all I asked for was an opportunity. I'm just glad they called me," said Williams.
Williams was named Cal Poly's MVP after the 2012 season when he rushed for 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns. He finished 72 yards shy of the Cal Poly record for more rushing yards in a single season. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry and caught 8 passes for 52 yards and 1 TD catch. Williams rushed for 100 yards or more in 10 of Cal Poly's 12 games, including a program-best 6-straight games for the 9-3 Mustangs, who advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs.
Williams earned All-Big Sky Conference First Team and Second Team All-American honors after his senior season.
The Raiders have several running backs returning, including starter Darren McFadden. Oakland took a running back out of Central Florida in the sixth round on Saturday. The Raiders hold their preseason training camp in Napa. Their first practice is June 26.
Former Cal Poly linebacker Kennith Jackson did not get drafted on Saturday. He finished fifth all-time in program history in career tackles. There's a chance he could also sign as an undrafted free agent with a NFL team.
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