After the AFC completed its Pro Bowl "practice*" *Thursday, Leonard Williams looked around and explained what the moment at hand meant.
"Yeah, it's been crazy. I grew up watching a lot of these guys. I'm probably the youngest one here," he said. "I was really young watching these guys. It's crazy being here, playing with them in the same stadium."
Just 22-years-old, Williams received the invite to Orlando, FL after racking up seven sacks along with 11 TFL. He was the Jets most consistent performer in his second season, showcasing more pass rush counters and being more tenacious than ever against the run. And even though there will be plenty of laughs this week, Williams made it clear that he is trying to obtain knowledge from many of the greats gathered in Central Florida.
"It's year two and it feels great to be here already. I feel like I put a lot of hard work in and I'm just really grateful to be here," he said. "It's gone by fast already, but I'm trying to soak it all in and get as much out of these guys as I can. I've been talking to a lot of the vets and asking them a lot of questions."
But there is plenty of time for fun as well. Williams worked on a few hand drills with his defensive line teammates, but the 6'5", 302-pounder also threw the ball quite a bit today and ran a few pass patterns with the likes of Cameron Wake and fellow USC alum Jurrell Casey.
"I told some of my family these are some of the easiest practices I've ever had and they laughed because it's still the NFL. It's all about fun," he said. "All these guys have had long seasons and put a lot of hard work in. No one wants to come out here and hurt each other, so everybody is respecting the tempo and going with a moderate speed."
Williams is very comfortable with his surroundings. Before playing collegiately at USC, he starred at Mainland HS in Daytona Beach, FL. He has plenty of support nearby and is taking advantage of the events the Pro Bowl has to offer.
"It's awesome to have a lot of downtime. We're done for the rest of the day already unless you have a charity event, which I'm doing tomorrow," he said. "It's great to have family out here, they're like 20 minutes away. We're going to go to Disney later. A lot of people are coming to the game, I have about 30 tickets. I have some coaches coming, some friends and family so it's really cool."
Not sure what rides he will take in at Disney, the Jets Team MVP is enjoying his first Pro Bowl ride. He wore a camera at practice today as these memories will prove to be lasting for one of the Jets building blocks.
"It was pretty cool. All the guys are trying to get in there for their TV time," he said. "Everybody has been really fun, so they're making the experience cool and GoPro is able to capture everything."
Top Photos of DE Leonard Williams and Flight Crew Member Nancy at Practice for the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando