Boise St Football

Boise State cornerback Avery Williams during a game in August 2019 at Florida State.

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The story of Avery Williams got even cooler Saturday. 

Williams, a former walk-on defensive back and special teams star at Boise State, lived out a life-long dream when he was picked by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

"No stars, no scholarships," Williams said. "But this is always what I worked for, to get to the next level. I knew my work ethic would carry me far in my life and being a walk-on is nothing I would change. It puts a chip on my shoulder and motivates me."

Many wondered whether Williams would even get drafted. So much for that.

Williams, the record-setting special teams star, went to Atlanta with the 183rd overall pick in the fifth round. There was no late-round suspense  needed.

He is arguably the top special teams player in Boise State history. He tied the NCAA career record with nine return touchdowns and also blocked five kicks.

Williams was a consensus All-American, a two-time Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year and a first-team All-Mountain West cornerback.

And now, he's an NFL draft pick. 

Williams marketed himself as a wide receiver and running back in addition to a defensive back to NFL teams, but his abilities on special teams was the primary reason Atlanta drafted him.

"What I want to show is I can do everything and not only can I, but I'm more than willing to," Williams said. "Whatever will help the Atlanta Falcons be the best team, wherever they put me that's where I'll be."

The former walk-on had no Division I scholarship offers when he took a preferred walk-on spot at Boise State. Fast forward five years later and he was one of the top special teams players in the country - and now an NFL Draft pick.

Williams was the second Boise State player drafted Saturday after tight end John Bates went to Washington in the fourth round. 

It's the fifth time in the past six years that Boise State has had at least two players taken in the draft. 

B.J Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013. He is an Associated Press Top 25 men's basketball poll voter, and also contributes to KBOI-TV as a Boise State insider.

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