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Where Are They Now: Cornelius Williams

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Most of our “Where are they now?” pieces usually tell a story about an ex-NC State basketball player trying to make it in the NBA, or pursuing a career in the sport overseas. The story of Cornelius Williams is a bit different.

Williams was never a super-star. He was never looking to make basketball a career. Instead he used basketball to get an education that would propel him to a much more important place.

Cornelius Williams joined NC State in 1997 under then coach Herb Sendek. Hailing from Fort McClellan, Alabama, the 6’11 center was part of Sendek’s second recruiting class. He was not a sought after prospect and was more of a project player. In four years Williams never averaged more than 2 points per game and averaged 8.3 minutes per game in his career. But that isn’t what makes this story interesting.

While Williams never found extreme success on the basketball court, he was busy finding that success in the classroom. We caught up with Cornelius to find out how that worked out what he’s up to now…

“Basically right now I’m a chemist. I work for Johnson and Johnson and I’ve been doing that for the last six years and have been working in the pharmesutical industry for the last 12 years now and it’s something I really enjoy.” said Williams. “After college I pretty much gave up basketball. It was fun while it lasted but I had a lot of other things I wanted to do. I dabbled for a little bit and that was good enough.”

Williams doesn’t come around NC State much these days. He’s a busy man, so attending games can be tough but he always has, and always will make time for his teammates.

“My time at NC State was great. It was a great experience. I learned a lot and made some close friends. As far as basketball goes, sometimes it’s just time to move on, but I still love NC State and especially my teammates.”

It certainly shows as Williams, who hasn’t been seen at many Wolfpack functions over the past 10 years, has been in attendance at the Brian Keeter Hope to Walk golf outing on both occasions..

“Like I said my Wolfpack teammates were and are important to me. I think it’s great that they put on this event for Brian’s foundation. Putting things like this on for him are needed. I’ve been around him a lot since his accident and these type of things, they boost his confidence and moral.” said Williams.

In today’s world, sport has become a business, where kids strive to use basketball to make a career for themselves or to find stardom. While there’s nothing wrong with that, every once in a while you find a player like Cornelius Williams. He used basketball as a learning experience, an outlet from school and for the bonds created between him and his teammates.

“Playing college basketball was a great experience, but I’ve got a family, my friends and a career and I’m very happy where I’m at, doing what I’m doing.”

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Punter AJ Cole Added to AFC Pro Bowl Roster

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Former NC State Punter AJ Cole has been named to the Pro Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year. He was added to the roster because Chiefs Punter Tommy Townsend is headed to the Super Bowl.

Cole is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and Bradley Chubb.

Cole ranked 4th in the NFL (and the AFC) in yards per punt in 2022, averaging 48.9 yards per punt.

This marks the 2nd time that Cole has made the Pro Bowl. Cole is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘13, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, ‘01 ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, ‘09, ‘13, ‘14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, ‘68, ‘69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, ‘93, ‘94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, ‘63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb Added to Pro Bowl

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace an injured Khalil Mack. Chubb is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and AJ Cole.

Chubb finished the season with 39 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 tackles for loss and 20 QB Hits, playing 8 games with the Broncos and 8 games with the Dolphins in 2022.

This marks the 2nd time that Chubb has made the Pro Bowl. Chubb is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘13, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, ‘01 ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, ‘09, ‘13, ‘14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, ‘68, ‘69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, ‘93, ‘94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, ‘63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Former NC State WR Jakobi Meyers is Positioned for a Big Pay Day this Offseason

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers has set himself up well to get a big pay day this offseason.

Meyers led the Patriots in receiving yards (804) and touchdown receptions (6) in 2022, and ranked 2nd on the team in receptions (67) behind Running Back Rhamondre Stevenson (69). In 2021, he led New England in receptions (83) and receiving yards (866). In 2020, Meyers did the same thing with 59 receptions for 729 yards.

This year, Meyers was given the Ed Block Courage Award by the Pats as the player on the roster that most exemplified courage, sportsmanship, professionalism and dedication.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick had this to say about Meyers:

“Well he’s a tough kid, mentally, physically,” Bill Belichick said of Meyers on January 6. “He’s shown a lot of leadership and competitiveness like he always does. So, yeah, I’m glad we have him. Glad he’s out there. I know he’s had to fight through some things, so have a lot of other guys. But he’s done a good job of that.” (link)

If it were up to Meyers, he’d like to resign with New England.

Meyers has been one of the best homegrown receivers in Patriots history. His 2,758 receiving yards is the 2nd most by a player in their first 4 years in the league in New England, trailing only the legendary Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Consider the fact that Meyers signed with the Pats as an undrafted free agent in 2019, and that stat becomes much more impressive.

Through 4 seasons, already ranks in the Top-10 in NC State history in both receptions (9th) and receiving yards (8th).

Meyers was paid $3.986 million this season on a 1-year deal, but he could be looking to make something more in line with $18 million annually, which is the deal that Christian Kirk signed with the Jags this past offseason.

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PackPros: Recapping NFL Wild Card Weekend

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The Wild Card round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs was last weekend, and — former NC State football players were represented.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 8 tackles and 1 pass breakup in the Bengals 24-17 victory over the Ravens. His teammate, Defensive Tackle B.J. Hill had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB Hit.

Pratt was a big part of causing Baltimore Quarterback Tyler Huntley to fumble it on the goal line, that led to a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Cincy’s Sam Hubbard.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 1 sack in the Dolphins 31-34 loss to the Bills.

Running Back Nyheim Hines returned 2 kickoffs for an average of 28 yards, and returned 3 punts for an average of 5.7 yards in the Bills’ 34-31 victory over the Dolphins. He also had 1 reception for 7 yards.

Cornerback Nick McCloud had 2 tackles in the Giants 31-23 win over the Giants.

 

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill didn’t record any stats in the 49ers 41-23 win over the Seahawks, but he did play in 19 snaps.

Center Garrett Bradbury returned from injury, and played 100% of the snaps in Minnesota’s 24-31 loss to New York.

 

 

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