Home Town Football Hero

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Palatka resident and retired NFL football great John L. Williams spent time on Saturday visiting with players in the Palatka Community Affairs & Recreation Department’s NFL FLAG program, held at City’s fields behind the former Robert H Jenkins Middle School in Palatka.

Williams, a graduate of Palatka High School, went on to become a standout player at the  University of Florida from 1982 to 1985 with 2,409 yards rushing and 863 yards receiving.

He was a first-round draft pick in the 1986 NFL draft for the Seattle Seahawks , where he played for eight seasons, appearing in the Pro Bowl in 1990 and 1991.

Williams finished his 10-year NFL career playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1994 and 1995, playing in Super Bowl XXX.

During his pro career, Williams appeared in 149 regular-season games, earning 135 starts. He recorded 1,245 carries for 5,005 yards and scored eighteen rushing touchdowns.  

“I played on this field as a kid,” Willaims told the children as they gathered around him on Saturday, “My advice to you is that you can go and do anything you want in life if you work hard, follow the rules, and be the best person you can.”