Things often come full circle in life. Just ask running back Damien Williams. Who’s again where he started his career, calling Miami home for the next week as he prepares to play in the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers. However, he’s not wearing a Miami Dolphins jersey. Instead, he is donning Kansas City Chiefs colors. His trip from Kansas City to Miami takes around five hours and 35 minutes by plane. Just as the 1,469.7-mile journey seems lengthy, so to has been Williams’ path to get here.
He began his college football career at Arizona Western College. After a few seasons there, he transferred to the University of Oklahoma, a breeding ground for running backs. Here, he encountered his first bump in the road. After a 2012 season saw him rush for 946 yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 games, he followed that up with an impressive 2013 season. Rushing the rock hundred 14 times for 553 yards and seven touchdowns, he put up those numbers in nine games.
Those numbers were indeed not indicative of a setback.
Miami Dolphins save Damien Williams
The setback came in 2013. where he was dismissed from Oklahoma for violating team rules. Head coach Bob Stoops never gave a reason for his dismissal. Thus, his next step was going to the NFL Draft. Surely someone who put up the type of numbers he had, in albeit a brief college career, would be able to find a team rather easily, right?
Not exactly. Williams went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. Luckily for him, the Miami Dolphins came calling. It would be a four-year partnership between the Miami Dolphins and Williams. He didn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but you could tell the talent was there. His best season for Miami came in 2017. He played 11 games, starting four of them. Rushing 46 times for 181 yards, he also proved to be a bit of a receiving threat. He would also catch 20 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.
The 2017 season saw him get tendered by Miami for $1.797 million. After Jay Ajayi was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, Williams was named a starter ahead of Kenyan Drake. He showed glimpses of potential, but injuries set him back a bit. A dislocated shoulder in Week 12 gave the starting job to Drake. Drake blossomed as the starter, and that was effectively the end of Williams’s career with the Dolphins.
Since signing with Kansas City in the 2018 offseason, he has paid his dues. From playing behind Kareem Hunt to getting the starting opportunity last season, he has undoubtedly been biding his time. He ended up having a solid 2018 season, rushing the ball 50 times for 256 yards and four touchdowns, the four TDs were a career-high at the time.
Now, he finds himself back in Miami, set to play in the Super Bowl. In what was a running back-by-committee approach this year for Kansas City, he has adjusted to different roles numerous times throughout the season.