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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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NC State in the NFL: Week 2 Report

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18 of the 23 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below.

Quarterback Russell Wilson (starter) was spectacular once again, going 29 of 35 for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns for a QB Rating of 131.0 in Seattle’s 28-26 win over Pittsburgh. Wilson became the 5th fastest player in NFL history to throw for 200 career touchdowns.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (starter) was 17 of 28 for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns (1 interception) with a QB Rating of 95.2 in the Colts’ 19-17 victory over the Titans.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb (starter) had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 2 QB Hits in the Broncos’ 16-14 loss to the Bears.

Chubb was called for a ridiculous roughing the passer penalty on the final drive of the game that ultimately kept the drive alive, which ended in a 53-yard field goal that cost Denver the game.

Quarterback Philip Rivers (starter) had an off day, completing 21 of his 36 passes for 293 yards and 0 touchdowns (1 interception) for a QB Rating of 73.0 in LA’s 13-10 loss to Detroit.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels ran the ball 3 times for 18 yards in the Steelers 28-26 loss to the Seahawks. He also had 1 reception for 13 yards. Samuels played 39% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive End B.J. Hill (starter) had 3 tackles in the Giants’ 28-14 loss to Buffalo. Hill played 58 snaps on defense (78%), which led all defensive players.

Running Back Nyheim Hines ran the ball twice for 9 yards in Indianapolis’ 19-17 win over Tennessee. He also had 1 reception for 5 yards. Hines played 19% of the offensive snaps.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones (starter) had 1 tackle in the Chargers’ 13-10 loss to the Lions. His 41 plays were the most of any defensive player on LA.

Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon (starter) technically started his first career NFL games on Sunday, but it was more of a formality. Harmon only played 6 snaps on offense, and didn’t record any stats.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka didn’t attempt any field goals on Sunday, but did connect on all 4 of his extra point attempts in the Bills’ 28-14 victory over the Giants.

Center Garrett Bradbury (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Vikings’ 21-16 loss to the Packers. Bradbury had a tough assignment again in Week 2, with Grady Jarrett on the other side of the line of scrimmage. He was better than Week 1, but still struggled, posting the 2nd lowest PFF grade on the offensive side of the ball for the Packers.

Punter A.J. Cole (starter) punted the ball 6 times for an average of 44 yards in the Raiders’ 28-10 loss to the Chiefs. He pinned two of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt strictly played on Special Teams in the Bengals 41-17 loss to the 49ers.

Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Cardinals 23-17 loss to the Ravens.

Offensive Tackle Will Richardson (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in the Jags’ 13-12 loss to the Texans.

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney (starter) played in 92% of the offensive snaps in the Patriots’ 43-0 blowout victory over the Dolphins.

Cornerback Dontae Johnson played 5 special teams snaps in the Charger’s 13-10 loss to the Lions.

Offensive Guard Ted Larsen saw 2 offensive snaps, and 4 special teams snaps in the Bears’ 16-14 victory over the Broncos.

DNP

Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)

Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill (Redskins)

INACTIVE

Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers (New England Patriots). The addition of Antonio Brown hurt Meyers’ chance of seeing the field in a big way.

Defensive Back Juston Burris (Raiders)

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Russell Wilson 5th Fastest to 200 Touchdown Passes

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Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson threw his 200th career touchdown pass today, becoming the 5th fastest player to do so, bumping Tom Brady out of the Top-5.

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Wilson, who is 5’11”, is only the 2nd player in NFL history under 6’0″ to throw for 200 touchdowns.

Wilson finished today 29/35 for 300 yards with 3 touchdowns (QB Rating – 131.0).

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Raiders Sign Former NC State DB Juston Burris

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Former NC State cornerback Juston Burris has been signed by the Oakland Raiders after Safety Johnathan Abram was moved to the IR.

Burris was drafted by the Jets in the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and played his first two seasons in New York. After the first 4 games of the 2018 season, the Jets cut Burris (he played in all 4 games), and was picked up by the Browns. Burris only played 4 games at Defensive Back for Cleveland after being picked up.

He saw a lot of action in New York his first two seasons, and was even the projected started heading into his second season.

Burris joins to other former NC State players in Oakland, with punter AJ Cole and quarterback Mike Glennon already wearing the Silver and Black.

While at NC State, Burris had 121 tackles, 3 interceptions and 18 pass deflections.

NC State now has 23 former players on active NFL rosters.

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Chargers Sign CB Dontae Johnson

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Former NC State Cornerback Dontae Johnson was  signed by the Los Angeles Chargers yesterday.

Johnson reunited with the 49ers this offseason, the team that drafted him in the 4th round back in 2014. Johnson played his first 4 seasons in San Francisco, even starting all 16 games in 2017. He signed a free agent deal with the Seahawks before last season and was expected to start, but was put on the IR right away, and released briefly after. After that, Johnson signed with the Bills and Cardinals during the season, but never saw the field. This offseason, he signed with the Chiefs and was released, and eventually signed with the Niners in May, but was released, even though he had 3 interceptions during the preseason.

With the addition of Johnson, there are three former Wolfpack football players on the Chargers, joining Quarterback Philip Rivers and Defensive Tackle Justin Jones.

Johnson was scooped up because LA had to put CB Trevor Williams on the IR with a quad injury.

NC State now has 22 former players on active NFL rosters.

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