ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The Denver Broncos introduced their newest player Friday at the team's Dove Valley facility. The team drafted defensive tackle Sylvester Williams Thursday night, with the 28th pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Williams, who is originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, told reporters about the path of hard work and dedication that brought him to the point of being a first round-draft pick.
He talked about playing football for one year in high school, and thinking it could be something he might continue doing. Then, the next fall, he watched guys around his same height and weight playing in college games.
"I thought that I had the ability, so I decided to give it a try," he said.
Williams walked on to the team at Coffeyville Community College, in Kansas, which is where he said he laid his "foundation."
"I gave it everything I had in the classroom as well as on the field," he said.
At Coffeyville, Williams started all 10 regular season games in 2009. In 2010, the racked up 52 tackles and two sacks.
He enrolled at North Carolina in 2011, where he spent his junior and senior years.
Williams posted 20.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries during his college career. He told reporters Friday that he had worked hard to get to this point and pledged to continue working hard with the Broncos.
Williams said his motivation comes from love of the game and his family.
"The biggest thing that motivates me is my father. My father is a guy who tried to raise four kids by himself. That's the biggest thing that motivates me," he said.
Family surrounded him Thursday night when his phone rang and his caller ID displayed a 303 area code.
"I honestly couldn't talk because I was in tears, I was so excited," he said.
When his name was read by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Williams says his family jumped all over him.
"Sylvester is a big strong, fast player and he'll be a great fit for our defense," said head coach John Fox after the selection was announced Thursday.
"We’ve been looking for a young anchor on the inside for a long, long time and we really believe we have found him here with Sylvester Williams," John Elway said.
Fox also said they didn't expect Williams would still be available by the 28th pick.
Williams is the first defensive tackle the Broncos have drafted in the first round since Trevor Pryce in 1997.