|Position:||Strong Side Linebacker|
Honors & Awards
- Drafted by the Washington Redskins (1997 - 5th Round, Pick #132)
- Member of Two Nebraska National Championship Teams (1994, 1995)
- Butkus Watch List Member (1996)
- Second-Team All-Big 12 (AP, 1996)
- Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches, 1996)
Jamel Williams moved from the secondary to weakside linebacker in the middle of the 1994 season, then opened the 1995 season at Will linebacker before switching to Sam linebacker to finish out his Husker career. NFL scouts took notice of his athleticism as the Washington Redskins drafted him in the fifth round, with the 132 pick, in the 1997 NFL Draft. Williams would play in 35 games for the Redskins from the 1997-1999 season. He also played one-year (2001) in the now-defunct XFL for the Las Vegas Outlaws.
Starting every game his senior season, Williams recorded 97 tackles (36 solo). He also had 12 tackles for 54 yards lost, five sacks, one forced fumble, two pass breakups, three interceptions and 12 quarterback hurries. Williams' first interception of the year came against Colorado State where he returned it 29 yards, his second came against Iowa State for a 15 yard return and the third and final interception happened against Colorado where he returned it five yards. Against Virginia Tech, in the 1996 Orange Bowl, Williams had nine tackles (three solo), one-and-a-half tackles for 14.5 yards lost, an 11-yard sack and two quarterback hurries.
Williams was an impact player who played every game, starting first at Will linebacker, then utilizing his speed at Sam linebacker. Despite not starting a single game, Williams shared time with Jay Forman and was utilized in pass situations. Williams was third on the team in tackles with 47, including 22 solo stops. He had six tackles for 27 yards lost, one forced fumble, one interception, two pass breakups, one 10-yard sack and four quarterback hurries. His interception featured a 36-yard return for a touchdown to give NU a 10-0 lead against the Oklahoma Sooners on OU's first possession. His sack was a 10-yarder against Missouri while he had a career-high two tackles for eight yards lost against Kansas. Williams had 10 tackles twice, against two top 10 teams--Colorado and Kansas. His breakups were against Big Eight foes Colorado and Oklahoma. In the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, Williams had five tackles, including four solo stops and a QB hurry. In the second quarter with 12:42 remaining on a second and 31, Williams was untouched and sacked Danny Wuerffel in the end zone for a safety, as part of an NCAA bowl-record 29-point second quarter for the Huskers.
Williams played in 10 games in 1994 and recorded six tackles. He began the season as a rover, but moved to Will linebacker midway, where he served as a backup to Ed Stewart and Ryan Terwilliger. He had a season-best three tackles against Pacific. Williams and fellow newcomer Michael Booker were both first-year sophomores in the NU secondary. In the Orange Bowl against Miami, he had one tackle.
Williams sat out the 1993 season.
Before Nebraska (Merrillville High School)
A blue-chip athlete in 1992 as named by Parade, USA Today and Schutt-Scholatic Coach, Williams was an AP all-state, Coaches Board Top 50 and Bloomington Herald Top 33 athlete. He was also The Post Tribune and The Times Defensive Player-of-the-Year, a finalist for Indiana's Mr. Football, the Duneland Conference MVP and the Merrillville High School Co-MVP. Williams and teammate Jared Tomich are believed to be the first Husker recruits to come out of the state of Indiana. Williams tore his ACL in his left knee in the 1993 all-star game. This followed two torn ligaments in his right knee when he was tackled on an interception return in late September of his junior season. Prior to the injury, he had gained 399 yards as a running back in the first four games (nine touchdowns, one interception) of the season after rushing for 913 (eight touchdowns, six interceptions) as a sophomore and 448 as a freshman (three touchdowns, one interception). He returned to star for his basketball team three months after his first injury and qualified for the state track meet in the spring of 1992 in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, placing sixth in the 100 (10.94). Williams lettered four years and helped lead Merrillville to a 27-5 record his last three years and a Class 5A regional title as he scored 45 touchdowns and rushed for 3,238 yards (5.7 per carry). In basketball, his teams were 54-17 and won the East Chicago Regional.
The son of Monroe Williams and Chris Edwards, Jamel is the cousin of former Husker linebacker Daren Williams (1991-03). He was born on Dec. 22, 1973, and majored in communication studies. He has worked at youth basketball and football camps, spoke at elementary schools in his home state and assisted with the Husker "School is Cool" Jam.
Williams' Career Statistics
Interceptions: *1-36, TD vs. Oklahoma, 1995; 1-29 vs. CSU, 1-15 vs. ISU, 1-5 vs. Colorado
1995 Orange Bowl vs. Miami: Tackles 0 UT, 1 AT, 1 TT
1996 Fiesta Bowl vs. Florida: Tackles 4 UT, 1 AT, 5 TT; TFL 1-1; Sacks 1-1 (Safety); QB Hurry 1
1996 Orange Bowl vs. Virginia Tech: Tackles 3 UT, 6 AT, 9 TT; TFL 1.5-14.5; Sacks 1-11; QB Hurries 2