Quinnen Williams has come a long way. He spent his first two years at Alabama waiting, biding his time wreaking havoc on the scout team until he finally got his opportunity to take his rightful place on the interior of the Crimson Tide’s defensive line for the 2018 season. He caused chaos from the jump, ending the year with seven sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss before declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Depending on how the draft falls, Williams could end up going with any one of the top three picks. He is the prized interior defensive lineman of this draft class in a class that includes guys like Ed Oliver and Christian Wilkins, but when you talk to him, he comes off like a young man who’s still just taking everything in.
That’s not only with regards to his breakout season at Alabama, but seeing cities he’d never dreamed he’d get to visit or meeting with teams he’d only known through a television screen. As Williams prepares to walk across the stage in Nashville early Thursday night, he spoke with UPROXX on behalf of Hyundai’s “Rollin’ with the Rookies” campaign about his draft experience, his love of Oreos and hanging out the the San Francisco 49ers at IHOP.
I imagine you’ve been traveling all over the place meeting with various teams these past few months. What’s that been like?
Yes sir. A lot of cities stood out to me because they’re places you see in movies and TV. I went to San Francisco and got to see the (Golden Gate) bridge. I’d never seen Manhattan and Times Square.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve gotten to meet during this process?
Man, I get starstruck by everybody I meet. But the biggest one was Terrell Suggs. I got to meet Terrell Suggs when I took a visit to Arizona, and that’s somebody that I’ve looked up to for a long time, and somebody I watched when i was growing up, so he was the one that really stood out.
Is it true you took the San Francisco 49ers brass to IHOP for a meeting?
Yeah, I took them to the one in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They said I could go anywhere I wanted to go, so I said let’s go to IHOP. It was amazing. Just getting to talk to them in a place of comfort, where I knew I was going to be comfortable and could eat food I’m used to. I’m not really a big steak and lobster place guy or a flashy person like that. It was a cool experience.
Playing on the interior of the defensive line, you’re a guy that tackle a running back for a loss or sack the quarterback. Which one feels better?
I think definitely a tackle for loss feels better. But a sack gets the most attention, so it’s got to be the sack.
So what’s your favorite sack dance?
I had a sack celebration at Alabama, where I fold my arms across (my chest) and just chill. I’m going to do that in the NFL.
You got some attention for saying you ate four Oreos before running a really impressive 40. What’s the most Oreos you’ve ever eaten in one sitting?
In one sitting? I probably ate, like, a whole roll in college. Probably like 12.
Do you pay attention to mock drafts, or is that something you try and block out?
I just turn it off and let God handle it. Whatever team I go to, I’m going to be the same person on the field and off the field. I’m going to be the most dominant force for that defense. Every day I reflect and think about all the things I’ve been through and where I am today.