TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “It was pretty nice getting to know another player that plays the same position as me.”
Adriana Williams, a rusher as well as a running back on the flag football team at Robinson High School, had the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the football business. She actually watched film with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker, Shaquil Barrett.
“Going after the quarterback,” explained Williams, “it is the best thing ever because you know that your actions can impact the whole team, the whole game.”
Williams is a sophomore on the JV flag football team. She discovered the sport when she was in seventh grade.
“It actually began when a group of boys were playing football and it was just two hand touch and not like tackling or anything and I thought it was pretty nice so I went to go join them,” said Williams.
She questioned the critics and, then, she proved them wrong.
“After that,” she said, “I just kind of fell in love with the sport even though people told me it was just a boys sport and I was like, ‘In what way can it just be a boys sport?’”
Last week, Williams met Barrett on Zoom as a part of the Next Generations series produced by the NFL, which matches a young athlete with a star in the league.
“When I first heard this was what I was going to do,” said Williams, “I was like, ‘This is unbelievable!’ like, ‘No, this is not happening!’”
They watched some of their best football moments together in a virtual “film room.”
“There was actually one play of his where he got to the running back and, then, the running back was blocking him and, then, he did like this turn and he got to the quarterback so fast,” she said, “and I was like, ‘How did he just?’ The agility was just amazing!”
They also discussed how to sharpen their skills football player to football player.
“I cost my team five yards and a first down,” said Williams referencing a previous game, “and so I asked him about that and he explained to me how to time the snap and my jumping so I thought that that was pretty nice.”
A clip of the episode featuring Williams and Barrett will appear on ESPN. You can catch it during the pregame show ahead of the Monday Night Football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants.
You can also watch the full episode here.
The varsity flag football team at Robinson High School has won five of the last six state championships and the junior varsity team has not lost a game since March of 2011.