Former University of Washington product Reggie Williams will get a tryout with his hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks, during next week’s minicamp that begins on Tuesday.
Williams, 26, will be one of a handful of tryout players working through drills at the team’s headquarters in Renton next week.
The Lakes High and University of Washington product was drafted ninth overall in the 2004 draft by the Jacksonville, and did not live to expectations for the Jaguars.
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Williams’ best season in Jacksonville was 2006, when he finished with 52 catches for 616 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Williams became a free agent after the 2008 season, but was arrested for drug possession in his off-season home of Houston and received two years probation.
Dave Miller, Williams’ football coach at Lake High school, said he keeps in regular contact with Williams and that his former player may have lost his way.
“Sometimes you have to love some people through tough times,” Miller said. “I think some things have happened in the last, six months, and I think that has helped him see some things. And I think he’s just ready for another opportunity to do things right.
“There’s no question in my mind that if he’s focused and in shape that he will do very well.”
Miller said one of those things is the birth of Williams’ first child, a boy, four months ago.
Miller said he plans to go up to Seattle’s minicamp next week to see his former player.
And he’s thankful that Williams is getting an opportunity to play again in Seattle. Miller said was surprised to hear about Williams’ transgressions last year.
“Obviously when you get that kind money at a young age, people handle it better than others,” he said. “And sometimes people can get distracted. Maybe he made some poor choices that he shouldn’t have made. I just think he got away from being the guy he was.”
“But I feel confident he’s in the right place now. No matter what you tell people, sometimes they have to go through things on their own to learn those lessons, and I think he might have taken it for granted. Playing in the NFL is a privilege, and I think he maybe lost sight of that a little bit.”
Miller said that the Seahawks were interested in Williams last year, but backed off after he had his second incident in Houston. Former Seahawks receiver coach Robert Prince coached Williams in Jacksonville.
Picking up Williams make sense for Seattle. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is familiar with Williams, having recruited him while at USC and coached against him when Williams was at Washington, so he understands what the Lakes High product can do when he’s playing at a high level.
“He’s a great guy, he just lost his way a little bit,” Miller said. “If the Seahawks are getting a focused Reggie Williams, they are getting a heck of a player that can do some good things for them.”