Varsity Blues running back Adam Williams has managed to make the news, even with football in its off-season. On February 7, he was invited to participate in the CFL National Combine. During Williams’ tenure on the Blues, he led the team to back-to-back playoff runs after a 26-year drought. In the 2022 season, Williams rushed for 696 yards, with 106 carries and a touchdown.

Williams’ invitation, along with four more Blues’ invitations to the CFL Invitational Combine, has the Blues community at U of T buzzing. The Varsity sat down with Williams to talk about the CFL combine, his history with the sport, and his goals. 

Having taken some time away from his team practising in the Varsity Bubble, we quickly realized that a photoshoot on the field was likely not going to happen.  

It’s obvious that WIlliams was good at making decisions on the fly. He didn’t hesitate to lead me through the exclusive corners of the football team’s facilities. We set up shop in the team’s AZ conference room where, instead of reviewing game film, we reviewed some of Williams’ special moments on and off the field. 

While remaining confident in his abilities, he never forgot to give credit to those around him. Recognizing his teammates, coaches, and coordinators, Williams said, “One of the biggest reasons [we’re] better as an offence this year is because of our Offensive Coordinator Joe D’Amore [and] our young quarterback Kinsale Philip.” He added, “We had a lot of great young receivers, a lot of great running backs [such as] Luka [Stoikos] and Sam [Conteh]. They definitely did a lot for our team… [And] shout out to our O-line! They definitely stepped up a lot.” 

While heading up to the conference rooms, we ran into Victor Raposo, offensive lineman for the Blues. He shook Williams’ hand and said, “CFL Combine right here.”

In an email to The Varsity, Raposo mentioned that playing with Williams was a great experience, elaborating that he “made sure [they] all had [their] minds on the right page.” He praised Williams, writing that he doesn’t think “there is a single running back in the combine more talented” and that Williams has “more drive” than the rest. Raposo pointed out that when you look at Williams’ film, “it’s like he slips out of tackles.”

Williams’ appreciation for his family also became apparent the longer we spoke. He mentioned how his mother is his biggest role model due to her strength and how much she’s done for him. Williams’ younger sister Sky Williams runs track and his younger brother Marcus Williams is following in big bro’s footsteps, starting his first year playing football.

Williams is currently training with Elite Combine Prep, working with coaches Joey Nemet — speed & combine test preparation specialist — and Sam Eyles-Frayne — strength & conditioning specialist. The training routine consists primarily of speed sessions in the morning and lifting in the afternoon, six to seven days a week. For Williams, the grind truly doesn’t stop!

He did share that he’s had to make adjustments from traditional football training to testing for numbers, but he’s willing to do it all to get signed during the draft in May. Bumping to NBA YoungBoy, Gunna, and Lil Baby makes these sessions a bit more enjoyable for Williams. 

As we wrapped up, the conversation casually led back to families. He talked about watching his siblings grow up so fast and realizing how such big changes can happen in such little time. It made me think about how far he’s come, and how this opportunity can be the beginning of a big and exciting change for him.