The Under Armour All-America Game featured the top high school football players in the country last week in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Before the athletes took to the field on the night of Jan. 4, they received some pre-game motivation from Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and Under Armour athlete Mike Williams.
The former fourth-round draft pick stressed to the players that hard work and training should never stop, even if you are one of the higher ranked players in the country.
“I wanted to let them know that no matter your ranking or where people grade you at, just keep on working, keep trying to get better and try to prove people wrong,” Williams said. “That’s just my motto, to try and prove people wrong.”
It’s a topic that resonates greatly with Williams. Coming out of high school, he wasn’t recruited heavily by the top schools in the nation like the Under Armour All-Americans. He was a two-star recruit and his best scholarship offer was to Syracuse University, where he later went on to attend college.
“I started training late [when I was young],” Williams said about his regimen in high school. “That’s one thing that got me only one scholarship to Syracuse and fourth-round selection. I think if these kids get that training now and get used to it, then when they get in college they’re already ahead of the game.”
But through his motto of proving people wrong and always working and training hard, Williams turned into a NFL wide receiver who finished with 63 receptions, 996 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 for the Buccaneers.
“I always played with a chip on my shoulder,” Williams said. “I had 12 receivers drafted over me. So I just keep driving, which is just one of the messages I wanted to give to these kids.”
Not only his training important to Williams, but also to Under Amour. All week in Florida, the coaches and trainers stressed to the athletes the importance of training hard and always giving maximum effort on the football field and it’s one of the reasons why Williams was thrilled to sign on with a company like Under Armour.
“It’s very important to me [to be a part of Under Armour],” Williams said. “To be involved with a company like Under Armour who values the importance of working out and training is very exciting for me.”