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The Williams-Jacobs story in full

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Talk about two players who started in the same place and took opposite tracks to the NFL. ESPN.com this week has a compelling, in-depth story on the Packers' Tramon Williams and the New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs, who were teammates at Assumption High School in Napoleonville, La., and will meet in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs this weekend. Jacobs was a highly decorated and recruited running back who attended one of the country's running-back colleges, Auburn, before transferring to Southern Illinois and eventually entering the NFL as a talented if troubled fourth-round draft pick. Williams was a small, non-descript cornerback who wasn't even recruited by Division II schools, and who ended up walking on at Louisiana Tech and entering the NFL undrafted. ""You couldn't find two more different players, or people, who took two more different paths to the top," says Herb Washington, Assumption's quarterback in 2000 and now the school's offensive coordinator. "The way I describe it is, football fell in love with Brandon and bent over backwards for him, while Tramon fell in love with football and had to bend over backwards for it." The story chronicles their disparate paths to the NFL, where Williams has become a key player for the Packers. "I still find myself sitting back even now wondering what it is that people didn't see," said Williams, who has started every Packers game since mid-2009 and was named to the 2010 Pro Bowl. "It wasn't Brandon's fault. He was a specimen, and people were totally focused on him. He's a good friend, and I was happy for him. But even though I had the respect of my peers, for whatever reason I couldn't get that across to the people who really mattered."  

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