It has been twelve years since the passing of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams. I look back at his career and what he could have become.
January 1, 2007 was a sad day for the Denver Broncos organization and its fans.
The day after the team was defeated by the San Francisco 49ers and eliminated from the playoffs, something more important to the franchise, and Broncos Country, happened. Cornerback Darrent Williams was out with some teammates (Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall, to name a few) following their season-ending loss.
After they had left to go home from a night out, Williams was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting.
I remember driving home that day—I traveled from Manitoba, Canada to attend the game. Hearing the news, it was the only thing I could think about the entire day.
Williams, in my opinion, could have been great. He had the natural ability to play cornerback in the league. The speed. The awareness.
I was looking at highlights of Williams and couldn’t help noticing his speed. He didn’t have the size (5’8”, 188lbs), but it was clear that he had potential.
Learning from possibly the greatest cornerback to play the game in Champ Bailey, Williams could have been a top cornerback in the league. I think that he would still be playing today if he were alive.
Williams had two interceptions during his rookie season and doubled that total with four in his second—and ultimately his last—season in the league and on earth.
He had a tremendous impact on the organization. The Broncos named an award after him: The Darrent Williams Good Guy award.
This award is given annually to the Bronco who best exemplifies Williams’ enthusiasm, cooperation and honesty while dealing with members of the press.
On this day, we not only celebrate the New Year; we celebrate the life of a man who lost his life way too soon, over a tragic and senseless act.
Rest In Peace, D-Will. We miss you.