Onward: Darrent Williams (1982-2007)

Darrent Williams/ Thanks to The Denver Post/Glenn Asakawa)

  • View a slideshow of Darrent Williams’ funeral.
  • View a slideshow of Darrent Williams’ memorial service.
  • Send condolences to the Williams family via their guest book.
  • Darrent Williams was one of the NFL’s anonymous cats. There are dozens of them, players who toil each week under the helmet at relatively unglamourous positions. In pro football, it’s all about the team. It’s all abut uniformity. It’s all about being a cog in the machine. Standing out is verboten – except for a chosen few, typically QBs, running backs or the occasional loud-mouthed wide-receiver. Standing out is particularly unwise for defensive players, who often gain notoriety only when they screw up or get scorched on coverage.

    Otherwise, we watch the games each week with relatively little knowledge of most of the men under the helmets, even those who play for our home team. Darrent Williams, a cornerback for the Denver Broncos, came from beneath the helmet in tragic fashion in the first hours of the new year. Just hours after the Broncos suffered an overtime loss to San Francisco that eliminated them from playoff contention, Williams was shot and killed outside a Denver nightclub when a fusillade of bullets showered the Hummer limo in which he was riding. Two other passengers were injured in the drive-by attack, which occurred about 2 a.m.

    Williams, a second-year player from Oklahoma State, had three tackles in the game and returned two punts for 50 yards. He was a young man who wasn’t supposed to make it – not as a 5-foot-8-inch second-round pick with a penchant for biting on play fakes, and not the son of a single mom raised in a dangerous ‘hood in Forth Worth, Texas. Among his best friends were local Crips gang members. “When he was younger, he always gravitated to the wrong crowd,” Anthony Criss, his high-school coach, told the Denver Post. ”I remember he went to church and the minister was talking to him about needing to pray and stop hanging around with the wrong people, and he started straightening up and doing the right thing.”

    It seemed Williams had found the better path and was eager to share his journey with others who needed it. In December, he told friends and teammates of his desire to return to his hometown this off-season to talk to youngsters about staying out of gangs. He has two young children in Fort Worth and recently told Williams Criss he wanted to start a free football camp for youth players.

    “I believed in myself and stayed at it,” Williams once told the Post. “A lot of people didn’t believe in me, but I kept believing in myself. I always told everybody since I was 8 years old that I was going to play in the NFL. I just stayed focused and stayed positive. … A lot of times, Mom had two jobs. So I was left to hang around friends or cousins. I was running the streets, getting into trouble. I was going down the wrong way for awhile.”

    As of this writing, police have no motive or suspects in the attack.

    One more thing: Take note, Tank Johnson.

  • View a Darrent Williams slideshow
  • Watch a video about Williams’ murder.
  • https://i0.wp.com/www.momentumsportsgroup.com/images/clients/d_williams/5.jpg


    16 thoughts on “Onward: Darrent Williams (1982-2007)

    1. Every time I hear about another brother getting shot and killed for no damn reason it so affects me. Here is a young man in the prime of life, and now he’s dead. And over what? Because some emasculated fool decides to shoot at car? Absolutely insane.

    2. ANGELA GRIFFIN says:

      My heart goes out to his family and fans.He is in the lords hands now. A senseless crime took a precious life.

    3. Juan says:

      Lawrence said all that I wanted to say and more. I also hold those sentiments. Something about a minority kid, trying to make his way in this world and getting gunned down just really depresses me.

      The kid was just coming into his own in the league. He was highly regarded.

      Man, this just confirms we as a society aren’t doing enough to get guns off the street. Guns are just way too accesible to villains.

      It’s just too easy to get caught up in this kind of stuff off the field. It’s for this reason that I really try and stay home. Who knows what trouble lurks out there?

    4. Juan Lozano says:

      When I would see Williams’ headshot come on the screen, I looked at him and thought just by his face, that he had lived a very sad and troubled life and was exposed to unsavory elements, too soon. I was vocal about it to a buddy this year during, I believe the Sunday night game that the Broncos played against the Chargers. Thought he just looked like he had seen a lot.

      There are a few others players that I think the same of when I see them play or see their headshots. Namely, Delonte West of the Celtics. I know zero about him personally (other than he is a St. Joe’s kid ), but he just looks sad to me.

      Does anyone feel the same?

    5. Jake said says:

      You can have the guns but like Chris Rock said “make the bullets cost $50,000 and you’ll stop all of the shootings”. Who could afford to stock an uzi, glock, or Saturday night special for that matter.

      Sure its a joke but the reality is criminals will always have access to firearms because there’s always some “reputable” businessman willing to provide them. Just like the drug laws of the 80s and 90s that were changed to make it difficult for dealers to obtain the flashy high end luxury cars. Anytime someone spent more than $9999 it had to be reported to the feds and police. So what did the car dealers and crooked lawyers do, they told the dealers how to structure the payments to get around the law.

      For every criminal there is a greedy “reputable businessman” looking to capitalize on the situation. Making money on both ends by keeping the guns on the street and building privatized prisons. Ain’t capitalism without conscience great.

    6. Sherri says:

      He’s still a role model for kids. He changed his life around and found something he was great at. That’s success folks. He is and will continue to make a difference in all of our lives. God loves him very much. Rest in peace, Darrent. We will miss your great smile!

    7. Ayo sanusi says:

      Darrent williams was a good guy may he rest in peace!

    8. Will says:

      Typical. It amazes me how naive people are. “oh he turned his life around!” HE was a know crip, still associated with the crips AND was in some ghetto nightclub at 2am where an altercation involving gang activity (crips) was taking place. Darrent Williams was not a rehabilitated soul caught with the wrong people, HE IS THE WRONG PEOPLE. But hey maybe your kid will look up to D Williams and his lifestyle and he too will ‘keep it real’ at a gang hangout at 2am, after all he was a role model.

      You suckers actually believe that this guy turned his life around? Let me give you a reality check timeline – Ghetto trash gangbanger plays in NFL and makes money – Ghetto trash gangbanger gets told by agent to give some crumbs to community for youth center in order to convince owners and coaches that he is reformed, Ghetto trash gangbanger probably couldnt drive you to said youth center, Ghetto trash gangbanger continues life as was because your ‘community’ equates success only with financial gain, Ghetto trash gangbanger can now afford to take other Ghetto trash gangbangers to ghetto trash nightclub in stretch hummer and buy more expensive alcohol. Now here comes the shocker – Ghetto trash gangbanger and his homies are involved in shootout and he catches a bullet to the juggular.

      Somebody please point out the tragedy to me.

      Darrant Williams…aahhhhh another pillar of the black community.

      • Mika says:

        to Will July 17th, 2008: You don’t know a DAMN thing about D Will, since you say he was a CRIP, prove it show me, does he have it tatt’d, did you see him get put down. Tell me dummy where did you get your info. Exactly just as i thought, ur mouth talking about these you know nothing about. He’s from Texas not in a gang never been in a gang, Yes I know him personally for you to call him a ghetto trash gangbanger just means you are apart of the other thousands of HATERS in this world. Please do your research before you speak about any one. Bring your facts to the table.

    9. […] been fewer than two years since his friend and teammate, Darrent Williams, died in his arms with a barrage of bullets showered their Hummer limousine outside a Denver […]

    10. JESSE MCNABB says:


    11. domonic maestas says:

      rip D-will

    12. JESSE J MCNABB JR. says:


    13. noah rainbow says:

      well your just another pillar for the white commumnity

    14. does anyone know a very realiable car dealer in greenwell springs LA ?:`*

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