Mike Williams, the former NFL player and Riverside High School standout, continues to battle for his life after facing a grisly accident on a construction site last week.
Williams, aged 36, had embarked on a new career in electrical work in the Tampa vicinity about seven months prior. A mishap on September 1 led to his hospitalization. Post-surgery, he showed signs of responsiveness but was subsequently put into a medically induced coma.
Yet, despite numerous media reports claiming that the NFL player had passed on to his final reward, including from Resist the Mainstream, the player appears to be alive and on life support according to the information available as of writing.
Williams’ athletic prowess was evident during his time at Riverside, where he excelled in both football and basketball. He secured a spot on the All-Western New York team in both disciplines. His football journey continued at Syracuse, where he was recognized as an all-conference selection.
Additionally, he had a brief period with the Syracuse basketball team. His professional football journey spanned five seasons, playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills.
“He was just one of the hardest working kids I knew,” Tony Truilizio, Williams’ former football coach at Riverside High School, said. “In terms of his athleticism, he was the best student athlete I’ve ever coached. … I’m devastated, I can’t lie to you. I’m sick to my stomach.”
Williams’ NFL journey began with a bang. He was part of the NFL’s all-rookie team in 2010, securing 65 catches that amounted to 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. This performance came after the Buccaneers drafted him in the fourth round. His impressive stats in the initial three seasons earned him a six-year contract extension with the Bucs, worth $40 million. However, the following year saw him being traded to the Bills. His tenure with the Bills was short-lived, and he last made an appearance on an NFL roster during the Chiefs’ 2016 training camp.
Williams’ college football stats are equally commendable. During his three seasons at Syracuse, he made 133 catches, amassing 2,044 yards and 20 touchdowns. This achievement places him second on the school’s all-time list. His consistent performance ensured he made a catch in all 28 games he played, marking the fifth-longest streak in the school’s history. His freshman year saw him receiving 461 yards, the highest by a Syracuse freshman since 1990. His sophomore year was marked by a nine-game streak with a touchdown reception, the longest in the country at the time.
Williams’ high school years were equally illustrious. In 2005, as a senior, he received 970 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. This performance earned him the Harvard Cup offensive player of the year and first-team Class AA All-State honors. Before committing to Syracuse, he was ranked as the No.10 recruiting prospect in New York by Rivals.com.
Basketball was another arena where Williams shone. He accumulated 1,468 points for Riverside teams, which remained undefeated in Yale Cup play for two consecutive seasons. His senior year saw him averaging 26.3 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. He also played basketball during his sophomore year at Syracuse, appearing in four games.
Recalling a memorable moment, Truilizio shared a memory from Williams’ junior year of high school during a game against Hutch Tech. Williams returned a kickoff for 95 yards, resulting in a touchdown. “It was just amazing to see,” Truilizio said.
Bruce Warrick, a Buffalo native and friend of Williams, spoke highly of him. “Coming out of Buffalo, we barely get recognition. He put the city on the map, that listen, you can make it anywhere,” Warrick said.
Williams’ journey, marked by determination and talent, serves as a testament to his dedication to the sport. His current situation has left many in shock, hoping for his speedy recovery.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.