Jimmy Williams, Former NFL and All-SEC Vanderbilt CB, Dies at Age 43

Erin WalshJuly 9, 2022

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25: The Vanderbilt Commodores logo outside Vanderbilt Stadium prior to a game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and Georgia Bulldogs, Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former NFL and All-SEC Vanderbilt cornerback Jimmy Williams died Friday. He was 43.

Candice Storey Lee @VandyAD

What a sad reminder this is to not take anything for granted. I want his sweet family to know we love him and them.

Williams had suffered from an illness, according to The Advocate's Robin Fambrough. However, the cause of death has not been made public.

Williams starred for Vanderbilt from 1997 to 2000. In his first season with the team, he served as a running back, rushing for 527 yards and two touchdowns in addition to catching 23 passes for 189 yards and two scores.

After his freshman season, he primarily played as a defensive back, posting 10 interceptions from 1998 to 2000. He also served as a kick and punt returner, returning 73 kicks for 1,677 yards and one touchdown in his four collegiate seasons. He also returned 53 punts for 403 yards and one score.

The Buffalo Bills selected Williams in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL draft, but he never played a game for the franchise. He spent the first four seasons of his career with the San Francisco 49ers from 2001 to 2004.

In 50 games with the Niners, Williams posted one interception, six pass breakups, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, one sack and 88 tackles. He also returned 55 punts for 576 yards and one touchdown in addition to returning 49 kicks for 1,030 yards.

Williams spent the final two seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks from 2005 to 2006, posting two interceptions, seven pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and 50 tackles in 30 games. He also returned 38 punts for 241 yards.

Williams retired after the 2006 campaign and returned to his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2011, he became a coach for the Episcopal School's football team, where he went to high school, and also served as a teacher.

Williams most recently was the team's defensive coordinator and assistant athletics director.