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Jonathan Williams Interview: Arkansas RB discusses his injury and decision to declare for the NFL Draft

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The running back prospect addresses a variety of topics, including why he left college with another potential year of eligibility remaining.

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Acme Packing Company's Doug Moore spoke with another NFL Draft prospect, former Arkansas Razorbacks running back Jonathan Williams. The 5'11", 220-pound running back sat out the 2015 season with an injury after an impressive junior season that saw him post over 1,200 yards on the ground and 14 total touchdowns.

Williams did not participate in drills at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine while recovering from the injury, but did work at his Pro Day recently. He discussed those workouts, his best NFL comparison, and much more in the interview.

Doug Moore: Firstly, how are you? You're coming off the heels of your Pro Day. How are you feeling? How do you feel you did?

Jonathan Williams: I'm feeling pretty good. I'm very hard on myself so I'm never satisfied with my performance but I feel that I did really well for coming off a major injury.

DM: Just as you were getting ready for your senior year of college, you suffered a major foot injury that caused you to miss the entire season. What was your mindset when the injury happened and when you got your prognosis originally?

JW: I suffered an injury right before the season, but my mindset never changed only shifted. It was a tough situation to go through but I've always been self motivated so I went and worked out at 6 am the morning of surgery so that I could continue to stay in the best shape.

DM: Now, theoretically, you could've applied for another year of college football and potentially play another year at Arkansas. You opted not to do that and enter the NFL Draft. How seriously, if at all, did you consider trying to gain another year of eligibility?

JW: I never really considered coming back for another year only because I graduated in December so I was done with classes and I knew that this injury was something that I could make a full recovery from.

DM: Despite missing the 2015 season, you accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. What was it like going and be able to participate in practice with everyone else even though you didn't get the chance to play that season?

JW: Being invited to the Senior Bowl was definitely something that I was grateful for. Obviously, I didn't play my senior year but I was able to experience the event and still participate a little during practice so it was definitely a great and memorable experience.

DM: You have said that you used the 2015 season to "exercise my brain" and that you also worked to "improve my football intelligence". Was there specific aspects of football that you wanted to learn more about, or did you just to increase your general knowledge of the game?

JW: I really wanted to increase my knowledge in every aspect of the game. I wanted to have a quarterbacks' knowledge of the game. I wanted to know what the defense was doing based of off alignment and know exactly what my lineman are doing and what changes depending of the defensive look. Just wanted to increase my football IQ in general.

DM: Obviously, coming off a major foot injury and subsequent surgery as well, it seems that people grade you lower than other running backs because of that injury. Does that give you any extra motivation as you train and prepare for the draft?

JW: Being forgotten about definitely adds fuel to the fire. I know what I can do on the field so it excites me to be able to show everyone soon.

DM: You came off your 2014 season with very impressive statistics, running for over 1,000 yards, 12 touchdowns, and nearly six yards per carry. You chose, despite that, to return for 2015 season instead of entering the last year's NFL Draft. Do you ever wonder "what if I had left a year early?"

JW: I never wonder what if. I feel like I sat down and made the best decision for me at that time and it just didn't work out as plan. That's a part of life and you have to continue to move on.

DM: Obviously, the SEC is one of toughest conferences to play in all of college football. Having three seasons under your belt playing in the conference, do you feel you are more prepared for the NFL because of the intense competition and many talented players you faced in the SEC?

JW: I feel that the SEC has definitely prepared me for the next level. Playing against future NFL players week in and week out definitely helps prepare you for the next level.

DM: If you have to name one particular running back in the NFL that your game closely resembles the most, who would it be and why?

JW: The running back I feel like I compare to most is Marshawn Lynch. I think we both have a good combination of speed, power, and elusiveness.

Thanks to Jonathan for taking part in the interview and we wish him the best of luck in the rest of the draft process.