Notre Dame football: Ian Williams begins the draft process
Ian Williams headed to practice in August when he was a nose guard for the University of Notre Dame football team. (Tribune File Photo/JIM RIDER)
After I played my last game in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, I started working out Jan. 4 in Orlando with (renowned trainer) Tom Shaw. I chose Drew Rosenhaus as my agent, because Drew's a good guy; he's a go-getter. He does everything he can to benefit me - talk to teams, take care of me during this process. He's an overall genuine guy.
Speaking of the Sun Bowl, those Miami players were cold. Being from Florida, I can tell you one thing, we do not like cold weather.
I mean I came up to South Bend and I sucked it up for four years, but if you're down in Florida and you're not used to the cold weather, trust me, it's the worst thing ever.
One of the big pre-draft events is the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. It was played Jan. 29. It was crazy, a little-nerve-racking, kind of a meat market.
I think it was Tuesday (of game week), we had to strip down to just our girdles and we had to walk in front of 500-plus scouts and team coaches and had to walk through almost basically butt-naked.
They'd take our weight, our height and as we're walking by, they're poking at you, grabbing at you, looking at you. And you feel like a piece of meat or a cow or something, just walking through.
There were just little things like that, and talking to teams to 11, 12 o'clock at night and having to be up at 7 o'clock the next morning. It's really crazy, but I think it was a great experience.
I think my performance in the game (five tackles with a sack) was just as important as anything. Game speed is different than practice speed, so it was great for me to get that on film against guys who were just as strong, as big and as fast as me.
The knocks about my height, shorter arms, etc., those are things that I really can't worry about. Besides that, I really try to stay off the Internet. Anything that's important for me to know about, I think my agent will tell me.
But teams know what they'll get from me. They'll get a hard-working guy. I may not be the tallest, the biggest, but I'm going to work hard, I'm going to run fast. I'm going to chase the ball. I'm going to do everything I can.
I still think about my career at ND a lot. Actually, I have my helmet at my house. And if I'm watching TV, I may look over at my helmet, and it will hit me then -- the Senior Bowl was the last time I was able to put on that gold helmet.
I actually still have my jersey, and every now and then I'll go put it on and then I'll put my helmet on and look in the mirror and stuff like that. It's crazy that four years went by so fast.
My senior year under coach (Brian) Kelly helped me so much. He expected a lot from us, to be a leader on and off the field. And I think that helped me mature over the season.
And going forward, I'm just looking to be a great player, a great person and to be an example for guys who are freshmen, juniors, seniors now.
I like Notre Dame's recruiting class with all the defensive linemen in it. Every year you see the teams in the national championship, they have a great D-line. It comes along with being good.
I actually had the luxury of being able to meet a lot of the guys who came in for the junior days and some of the senior visits. I actually hung out with Ishaq (Williams), and I was able to kind of recruit him and get him, so I'm kind of proud for that.
And I just wish I could go back for another four years and be under coach Kelly, because I can only imagine what he's going to do with this class and future classes.