Kevin Williams (wide receiver)
|No. 85, 82|
|Born:||January 25, 1971|
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Dallas)|
|NFL Draft:||1993 / Round: 2 / Pick: 46|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Kevin Ray Williams, Jr. (born January 25, 1971) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at the University of Miami.
Williams attended Franklin D. Roosevelt High School (Dallas), where he averaged 17.1 yards every time he touched the ball. As a senior in 1988, he split time between running back and wide receiver, tallying 100 carries for 995 yards, 10 rushing touchdowns, 36 receptions for 757 yards, 3 punt returns for touchdown and 2 kickoff returns for touchdown.
He finished his high school career with 111 receptions for 1,997 yards (17.9-yard average), 117 carries for 1,339 rushing yards (11.4-yard average), 21 receiving touchdowns, 14 rushing touchdowns and 10 return touchdowns. He averaged 25.6 yards per kickoff returns and 33.2 yards per punt return.
Williams accepted a football scholarship from the University of Miami, where he was the fastest player (4.28 seconds in the 40 yards) in some of college football most talented teams. As a redshirt freshman in 1990, he was the team's kickoff and punt returner. He registered 10 kickoff returns for 231 yards (23.1-yard average), 13 punt returns for 177 yards (13.6-yard average) and 4 receptions for 64 yards.
As a sophomore, he had a breakout season, posting 1,183 all-purpose yards, 36 punt returns for 560 yards (15.6-yard average) and 3 touchdowns, 10 kickoff returns for 185 yards (18.5-yard average), 21 receptions for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had 3 consecutive games with punt returns for touchdowns, setting a school record and one shy of the NCAA record. Against Penn State University, he totaled 217 return yards (152 yards in punt returns) on seven attempts, including a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown (school record).
As a junior, he struggled with ankle and knee injuries, including the fact that several opponents chose not to kick to him. He recorded 29 punt returns for 302 yards (10.4-yard average), 4 kickoff returns for 82 yards (20.5-yard average), 40 receptions (fourth on the team) for 457 yards, 2 receiving touchdowns and a 68-yard pass completion for a touchdown. He declared for the NFL Draft after the season.
In the 1993 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys traded their first-round draft choice (#29-George Teague) and fourth-round pick (#112-Al Fontenot) to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for two second-round picks (#46 and #54-Darrin Smith) and a fourth-round draft choice (#94-Derrick Lassic). The Cowboys selected Williams with their first choice in the second round.
As a rookie, he had a 10.5-yard punt return average (third in the NFC) and a 22.2-yard kickoff return average (sixth in the NFC). His best moment came in the infamous Leon Lett Thanksgiving game against the Miami Dolphins, where he scored all of the team's points (except the conversions) on a 4-yard reception and a 64-yard punt return.
In 1994, his 26.7-yard kickoff return average ranked fourth in the NFL and was the third highest single-season average in club history. He ranked sixth in the NFC with an 8.9-yard punt return average. He became the first player in franchise history to score a touchdown on a punt and a kickoff return in the same season. He set a team record for combined kickoff and punt return yardage (1,497), breaking Mel Renfro's 1964 mark of 1,435 yards. He also became the all-time team leader in combined touchdowns scored on kickoff and punt returns with 4. He was the first player in team history to score off a kickoff and a punt return in the same season. Also the first player to score career touchdowns on punt returns, kickoff, receiving and rushing.
In 1995, he received the opportunity as the starting wide receiver opposite to Michael Irvin after the departure of Alvin Harper, but never became the consistent big play compliment that was expected from him. He had 38 receptions for 613 yards, 2 touchdowns and ranked sixth in the NFC with a 22.6-yard kickoff return average. Against the Arizona Cardinals, he set a club record with 307 combined net yards and had the sixth best single-game receiving total in franchise history at the time, with 203 yards, adding two touchdown receptions of 25 and 48 yards. Against the San Francisco 49ers, he became the team's record holder for career kickoff return yards and combined kickoff/punt return yards. He set the franchise single-season record for kickoff returns with 49.
In 1996, he was limited to only 10 games with a broken foot suffered in a 10-7 loss against the Buffalo Bills. He finished with 27 receptions for 323 yards and one touchdown. In 1997, he decided to leave the team via free agency, after Anthony Miller was signed to take over the second receiver role.
Williams speed and return abilities were always valued during his time with the Cowboys, setting the franchise career records for number of kickoff returns (144), number of combined returns (239) and kickoff return yards (3,4616) in just four seasons.
On July 15, 1997, he signed a one-year contract as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals, where he played special teams and was a backup wide receiver. His 59 kickoff returns for 1,458 yards set a team single-season record and he also set a team record against the Atlanta Falcons with 207 kickoff return yards in a game.
His biggest offensive contribution came in week 15 versus the New Orleans Saints, where he racked 4 catches for 54 yards. He tied for fourth on the team with 20 receptions for 273 yards and one touchdown.
On February 13, 1998, he signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills. He was third on the team with 29 receptions for 392 yards and one touchdown, while also being the team's kickoff and punt returner.
San Francisco 49ers
On July 18, 2000, he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers to be the punt and kickoff returner. He wasn't re-signed after the season. He finished his career with 178 receptions for 2,314 yards and 7 touchdowns, 167 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, 7,309 kickoff return yards with 1 touchdown and 2,295 yards and 3 touchdowns on punt returns. He gained a total of 12,085 all purpose yards.
|Year||Team||Games||Receptions||Yards||Yards per Reception||Longest Reception||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
|Year||Team||Games||Punt Return Attempts||Punt Return Yards||Punts Returned for Touchdown||Punts Fair Caught||Longest Punt Return||Kickoff Return Attempts||Kickoff Return Yards||Kickoffs Returned for Touchdown||Kickoffs Fair Caught||Longest Kickoff Return|
- "Williams Big Play Man For Hurricanes". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Kevin Williams College Stats | College Football at Sports-Reference.com". Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Hurricanes Football: All-Americans (1990-99)". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "1991 Miami (FL) Hurricanes Roster". Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Lett's blunder lifts Miami to win over Cowboys". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Ex-Cowboy brightens Cardinals' special teams". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Cowboys secure home-field advantage". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Vikings Re-Sign McDaniel, Add Ex-Bear Green To Backfield". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Cardinals in market for speedy wide receiver". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "49ers Sign Four on Busy Day Off Field / Three draft picks, free agent in fold". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Kevin R. Williams Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 26 May 2018.