Williams' road to the top pick in the draft sure is an interesting one.
I wonder when the RedBlacks held the FA camp last year that Williams' attended. The fact they could only offer him a practice roster spot at the time suggests it would have been in the middle of the season which seems a little odd.
If it was n the fall, Ottawa was well on its way to securing the #1 pick in the draft to select him yet Desjardins still valued getting Arbuckle more.
Respect to Desjardins though who put the player's career and outlook ahead of just signing another American.
That's hardly news to the Ottawa Redblacks, who offered Williams a spot on the practice roster last year after he attended one of the club's free-agent camps. That is, until learning Williams's mother was Canadian.
"The guys who were there (at free-agent camp) basically saw somebody who immediately jumped out, had good football intelligence and would be a good middle linebacker in our league as an American," said Ottawa GM Marcel Desjardins. "He was here in Ottawa and we were going to add him to the practice roster and he happened to mention his mom was Canadian.
"So we said, 'Look here's your choice. You can either go down this path as an American or if you're pretty sure you're going to be able to obtain your passport as a Canadian, then we'd recommend you go down that path. He's had a year to work out and obviously has been doing a good job of it."
Had Williams accepted Ottawa's practice-roster invitation, he would've been registered with the CFL as an American and his status couldn't have been reversed afterward. Desjardins said Williams ticks off a lot of boxes for CFL general managers.
"He's got the pedigree of an American football player with Canadian status," said Desjardins. "Ben Cahoon (a Hall of Fame receiver with Montreal) was someone like that.
"That's why we told him to do a bit of digging. I think he's done the right thing. Time will tell, obviously. The thing is as an American he probably gets into a camp anyway like he did with us. As a Canadian even if for some strange reason he didn't stick, if he needs multiple chances he's more likely to get them."