Cary Williams #26 CB
Height: 6-1 Weight: 190 Age: 28
Born: 12/23/1984 Miami , FL
Experience: 5th season
High School: Chaminade-Madonna College Prep [Hollywood, FL]
Selected By: Tennessee Titans
Pick (Overall): 22 (229)
Cary Washburn emerged as one of the elite cornerbacks in the small college ranks as a senior for the Ichabods.
The only NCAA Division II player to be ranked in the top 10 in the nation in interceptions and kickoff-return average in 2007, Williams holds the distinction of being the only player in school history to score on an interception, kickoff return and a reception in the same season.
Williams, a consensus All-American in 2007, left his mark in the Washburn record books in just two seasons at the university. His seven interceptions as a senior rank second on the school's single-season list. His two kickoff returns for touchdowns last season tied the Washburn season and career records.
His 100-yard kickoff return vs. Missouri Southern in 2007 tied the school record for longest runback. He also became just the third player to wear an Ichabod uniform to receive American Football Coaches Association All-American first-team honors, joining defensive tackle Trey Lewis (2006) and receiver Troy Slusser (1988).
At Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Williams lettered three times as a receiver and defensive back. With the opposition steering clear of his territory, he managed just one interception as a senior. With less than impressive statistics, he was not recruited by major college programs.
Williams made one recruiting trip to Auburn and talked to smaller Division I-A programs in Florida, including Florida International. He chose Fordham in New York City because the Rams recruited him from the start. "It might have been the best decision of my life or the worst decision," Williams said.
As a true freshman at Fordham, Williams saw minimal action in six games, recording just three solo tackles in 2003. He appeared in seven games for the Rams in 2004, earning his only start at left cornerback vs. Georgetown. He finished with 15 tackles (12 solo), two pass deflections and a fumble recovery. He also returned nine kickoffs for 177 yards (19.7-yard average).
Williams left Fordham after a dispute with his position coach during practice. One of the Fordham assistant coaches, Keita Malloy, had spent 2001 on the Washburn staff, and he steered Williams to the Ichabods. Williams took a redshirt year in 2005 to clear his head, adjust to Topeka and learn the Ichabods' system.
"He came out here sight unseen," Washburn head coach Craig Schurig said. "He's matured a lot. He's got the talent to play in the NFL. He's got great ball skills. He can be a receiver. But corners are harder to find. He has great length. Our quarterbacks make a certain throw, and you think the pass is going to be over his head ... and he reaches up and either snatches it out of the air or tips it."
In his first season at Washburn, Williams teamed with Fletcher Terrell to give the Ichabods one of the best cornerback tandems in the small college ranks. He started all 11 games at right cornerback, posting 38 tackles (30 solo) with a stop for a two-yard loss and also deflected five passes. He had four interceptions and averaged 20.2 yards on 10 kickoff returns.
As a senior, the All-American selection ranked 10th in the nation with 17 kickoff returns for 487 yards (28.6-yard average) and two touchdowns. The right cornerback ranked sixth in the Division II ranks with seven interceptions and fourth with 164 yards gained on those pass thefts, including one that he returned for a score. He finished sixth on the team with a career-high 56 tackles (37 solo), as he also recovered a fumble.
In 23 games at Washburn, Williams registered 94 tackles (67 solo) with a stop for a two-yard loss, a fumble recovery and 12 pass deflections. He gained 174 yards with a touchdown on seven interceptions (23.4-yard average). He returned 27 kickoffs for 689 yards (25.5 avg) and a pair of scores. He also had a 68-yard touchdown on a reception and gained nine yards on a punt return.