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WKU Basketball Star Carson Williams Signs with the Las Vegas Raiders

(Photo by Steve Roberts/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


(Photo by Steve Roberts/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A basketball star from the Bluegrass has found a new home on the gridiron.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced Monday that they have signed Carson Williams to join the NFL as a tight end. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden made the move, even though Williams has not played football in about a decade.

Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2016, Williams averaged 26.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for Owen County High School, securing a scholarship to Northern Kentucky University. He made two trips to the NCAA Tournament with the Norse before taking his talents to Bowling Green. In two seasons at Western Kentucky he averaged 10.9 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 52.9% from the field.

Despite a collegiate career with more than 1,300 points, Williams realized basketball would not be in his future much longer. After seeing George Fant sign a $30 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks in 2020, reaching the pro ranks in football seemed much more obtainable for Williams. Fant was a star on the WKU basketball team that had only one year of collegiate football experience when his NFL aspirations turned into a reality. Williams recalled a conversation he had with Fant shortly after the former Topper inked the life-changing deal.

“He said, ‘You gonna do this football thing, or what?’ and that was really weird to me,” Williams told the Courier-Journal, “because that was something that at the time I had been thinking heavily about, wondering whether to pursue it or not, but I hadn’t told anyone about it.”

Williams spent some of the spring away from the basketball team to prepare for his pro day. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound athlete posted a 38-inch vertical and a 4.73 second 40-yard dash, making the Raiders believe Williams could be the next Antonio Gates.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

5 Comments for WKU Basketball Star Carson Williams Signs with the Las Vegas Raiders

  1. RackEmWillie
    10:52 am April 27, 2021 Permalink

    Football isn’t hard to teach or learn, and he has the build you want out of an NFL TE. No reason he can’t make a career out of it.

  2. Not Dan Issel
    11:08 am April 27, 2021 Permalink

    I wish the young man good luck and hope he succeeds. There was a time when it was not unusual for college basketball players to wind up as NFL players. Heck, even Pat Riley was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys (I believe).

  3. foreleft3
    2:16 pm April 27, 2021 Permalink

    Wouldn’t he be eligible for the draft? How can he sign a contract before the draft?

  4. Duuuuuude
    3:05 pm April 27, 2021 Permalink

    Seems like a strange thing to do when they could have had a shot at CJ Conrad.