American Football Database
David Williams
No. 73     
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1966-06-21) June 21, 1966 (age 56)
Place of birth: Mulberry, Florida
High School: Lakeland High School
Lakeland, Florida
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 294 lb (133 kg)
Career information
College: University of Florida
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Debuted in 1989 for the Houston Oilers
Last played in 1997 for the New York Jets
Career history
* Houston Oilers ( 1989 1995)
Career highlights and awards
* First-team All-SEC (1987, 1988)
Career NFL statistics as of 1997
Games played     128
Games started     106
Fumbles recovered     5
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

David Wayne Williams (born June 21, 1966) is a former American college and professional football player who was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Williams played college football for the University of Florida. He was a first-round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Houston Oilers and the New York Jets of the NFL.

Early life

Williams was born in Mulberry, Florida in 1966.[1] He attended Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida,[2] where he was an offensive lineman for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts high school football team.[3] While he played for the Dreadnaughts, the team won a district championship in 1983, and regional championships in 1982 and 1984. He and was named a Parade magazine and USA Today All-American after his senior season.[4]

Williams was inducted into the Lakeland High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.[3] In 2007, twenty-two years after he graduated from high school, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) recognized Williams as one of the "100 Greatest Players of the First 100 Years" of Florida high school football.[4]

College career

After graduating from high school, Williams received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Galen Hall's Florida Gators football team from 1985 to 1988.[5] As a freshman starter, he was a member of the Gators' 1985 team that finished with an overall win-loss record of 9–1–1 and a best-in-the-conference record of 5–1. Williams started every game during his four-year college career.[3] He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1988, a second-team All-American in 1987 and 1988, and a team captain in 1988.[5] Williams was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1999.[6][7] In one of a series of articles published by The Gainesville Sun in 2006, the Sun sports editors ranked him as the No. 27 all-time greatest Gator from the first century of Florida football.[8]

Professional career

Williams was selected in the first round (twenty-third pick overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers,[9] and he was an offensive tackle for the Oilers for seven seasons from 1989 to 1995.[10] He played in twenty-nine of thirty-two games during his rookie and second seasons,[10] and became a full-time starter in the first game of his third season. Williams played his final two NFL seasons for the New York Jets in 1996 and 1997.[10] He retired from professional football after the 1997 season.

For all of his on-the-field accomplishments, Williams' NFL career is often remembered for an off-the-field episode during the 1993 season known as "babygate."[3] During his fifth season with the Oilers, his wife Debi went into labor with their first child on the Saturday before an Oilers away game against the New England Patriots, and did not give birth until it was too late for Williams to either fly on the team's plane or get a commercial flight to catch up with the team.[3] The Oilers fined Williams and deducted $111,111 from his pay for the missed game, and Oilers owner Bud Adams publicly criticized him for having misplaced priorities.[3] A public firestorm ensued, with the Oilers receiving a large share of fan and media criticism, and an informal precedent was set that future teams in similar circumstances would handle such matters differently.[3]

During his nine-season NFL career, Williams played in 128 regular season games, and started in 106 of them.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1, Players, David Williams. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  2., Players, David Williams. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Tiffany Hutto, "Tampa Bay's All-Century team: No. 43 David Williams," Tampa Tribune (November 15, 1999). Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "FHSAA unveils '100 Greatest Players of First 100 Years' as part of centennial football celebration," Florida High School Athletic Association (December 4, 2007). Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 88, 96, 103, 124, 186 (2011). Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  6. F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  7. Dwight Collins, "UF inductees bask in glory," Ocala Star-Banner, p. 7D (September 11, 1999). Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  8. Robbie Andreu & Pat Dooley, "No. 27 David Williams," The Gainesville Sun (August 7, 2006). Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  9. National Football League, Draft History, 1989. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 National Football League, Historical Players, David Williams. Retrieved June 3, 2010.


  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.