Jarvis Williams
No. 26     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-05-16)May 16, 1965
Place of birth: Palatka, Florida
Date of death: May 25, 2010(2010-05-25) (aged 45)
Place of death: Palatka, Florida
High School: Palatka High School
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
College: University of Florida
NFL Draft: 1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
Debuted in 1988 for the Miami Dolphins
Last played in 1994 for the New York Giants
Career history
* Miami Dolphins ( 1988 1993)
Career highlights and awards
* First-team All-SEC (1986)
Career NFL statistics as of 1994
Games played     104
Games started     95
Interceptions     16
Interception yards     226
Quarterback sacks     3
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Jarvis Eric Williams, Sr. (May 16, 1965 – May 25, 2010) was an American college and professional football player who was a defensive back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Williams played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. Thereafter, he played professionally for the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants of the NFL.

Early years Edit

Williams was born in Palatka, Florida in 1965.[1] He attended Palatka High School,[2] and was a key player for the Palatka Panthers high school football team that won the Florida Class 3A state championship in 1981.[3]

College career Edit

Williams received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in nearby Gainesville, Florida, where he played cornerback for head coach Galen Hall's Florida Gators football teams from 1984 to 1987.[4] As a freshmen and sophomore, he was part of two of the best teams in Gators history; the team posted identical 9–1–1 overall win-loss records in 1984 and 1985, and the best-in-the-SEC records of 5–0–1 and 5–1 during those same seasons.[4] Williams is often remembered for the hard-hitting tackle that he delivered to Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Melvin Bratton in 1986—a hit that left Bratton temporarily unconscious.[5] He was named a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1986 and a first-team All-American in 1987.[4] Williams started forty-five consecutive games over four seasons (the second highest total in Gators history), had ten career interceptions, and led the team in tackles (77) and punt returns (20 for 222 yards) during his senior season.[4]

He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2001.[6][7]

Professional career Edit

Miami Dolphins Edit

Williams was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the second round (forty-second pick overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft,[8] and played safety for the Dolphins from 1988 to 1993.[9] In Miami, Williams was reunited with his former Gators teammate Louis Oliver when the Dolphins drafted Oliver in 1989; together they were the Dolphins' starting safeties for five seasons.[10] In his first five NFL seasons with the Dolphins, Williams recorded fourteen interceptions, including one he returned forty-two yards for a touchdown in 1990.[11]

New York Giants Edit

He played his final NFL season for the New York Giants in 1994.[9] During the season, he recorded sixty tackles and two interceptions in thirteen games.[12]

During his seven-season NFL career, Williams played in 104 regular season games and started in ninety-five of them; he recorded 575 tackles and sixteen interceptions, with one touchdown return.[1]

Life after the NFL Edit

Williams recently began work as a volunteer assistant football coach at Interlachen High School in Interlachen, Florida,[3] and had previously worked as an assistant coach at Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Florida.[13]

Williams' son, Jarvis Williams, Jr., was the starting fullback from 2009-2010 for the Jacksonville University Dolphins football team,[10] and was named the 2007 Pioneer Football League Newcomer of the Year by Street & Smith's College Football annual as the starting Linebacker for the Dolphins. Williams' former Gators teammate, quarterback Kerwin Bell, is the head coach of the JU Dolphins.[13]

Williams died suddenly and without prior warning from an acute asthma attack just before midnight on May 25, 2010; he was 45 years old.[13]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1, Players, Jarvis Williams. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  2., Players, Jarvis Williams. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Michael DiRocco, "Former Gator Jarvis Williams has died," Florida Times-Union (May 26, 2010). Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 87–88, 92, 96, 150, 153, 186 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  5. Associated Press, "Jarvis Williams, Former N.F.L. Defensive Back, Dies at 45," The New York Times, p. A21 (May 28, 2010). Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  6. F Club, Hall of Fame, 2001 Hall of Fame Inductees. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  7. "Nine Former Gators Enshrined into the Hall of Fame," (April 6, 2001). Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  8. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1988 National Football League Draft. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 National Football League, Historical Players, Jarvis Williams. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jeremy Fowler, "Former Dolphin, Gator Jarvis Williams dies at 45," Sun-Sentinel (May 26, 2010). Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  11. Jeff Darlington, "Former Miami Dolphins safety Jarvis Williams dies at 45," The Miami Herald (May 27, 2010). Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  12. ESPN, New York Giants, Players, Jarvis Williams. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Robbie Andreu, "Jarvis Williams, UF football great, dies at 45," Gainesville Sun (May 26, 2010). Retrieved May 27, 2010.

Bibliography Edit

  • 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.
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