Player Feature: Trent Williams
Honored in his hometown of Longview, Texas, with "Trent Williams Day" on May 12, 2010 to celebrate his selection in the NFL Draft.
In 2016, Williams partnered with Nike in order donate over 1,000 shoes to give to each elementary school campus in his hometown of Longview, Texas, for kids who are in need.
When Williams was young, he and his family lost his paternal grandfather, John L. Hawkins, due to Type 2 diabetes. It affected Williams deeply, saying, "Not being able to build that relationship with my grandfather, sometimes I still think about it." To honor his memory and expand the awareness and prevention of diabetes, Williams began to serve as an ambassador for the American Diabetes Association in 2014, and has done so ever since in order to help others focus on the importance of wellness in life. "As we all know, it affects a lot of Americans, not just around the world, but in America we have almost 30 million people living with the disease," Williams said. "It's almost catastrophic, and it can be without the right awareness. Obviously, I lost my grandfather at a young age to this disease, so I have a special interest in working with the ADA every year. To me, I feel like it's something that I have to do," Williams said. "I owe it to my family and to myself to do."
In June of 2018, Williams hosted the 5th Life and Skills Camp, also known as Silverback football camp, at Lobo Stadium in his hometown of Longview, Texas. Williams hosted more than 100 athletes during the afternoon with assistance from Los Angeles Rams LB Travin Howard, who also attended Longview High School, as well as other volunteer coaches. Williams enjoys being able to give back to his community, and said, "This is where I grew up, the place that birthed me. Anytime I get a chance to come back and connect with the community, I love it."
In May of 2017, Williams returned to his roots as he walked through the Lobo Stadium tunnel at his alma mater of Longview High School. Williams returned to Texas to partake in a ceremony held by the school for the 2006 Longview graduate in conjunction with the football team's Green-White Game in order to retire his No. 71 jersey. He became the second former player to have his jersey number retired in the school's history. "It's a surreal feeling," Williams said. "Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine getting my jersey retired, especially at a high school like this that's rich in tradition in football. To know that I've done enough in my career, and I feel like I've got a lot left to do, to have my jersey retired, it's a blessing."
Throughout his career, Williams has made it a priority to assist and help those who shaped him in his younger years. In 2015, Williams donated $25,000 to his high school alma mater to help fund EKG screening for every member of the football program. He has also donated a new locker room, new shoes for elementary students and Christmas gifts for those in need in his hometown of Longview, Texas. "This is home," his mother, Veronica, said. "Trent loves giving back to the community here. When it's involving children, that's his first love." Williams' former high school coach, John King, added, "The money he's given our football program, our athletic program, our high school, the at-risk kids throughout the district and in this community, he's never forgotten home. He's done a lot of things that haven't gotten recognition. Just a tremendous person."
Read more about Trent Williams by clicking his bio below.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan.
What do you see in the running backs room with the addition of Ty Davis-Price that you don't have right now?
"Well, one, I don't think you can have enough running backs. I mean, we took two last year (2021 NFL Draft). We were happy with our starter going into last year. We had other guys who had played well too and we took two, and by the fourth game we're still having to steal guys off other team's practice squads just to field enough guys to play in a game. So sometimes you can have good luck, this guy is staying healthy. Sometimes not. The more guys you can add the better, but kind of the physicality that he brings gives you a chance to have a very physical one-two punch. I thought Deebo helped us do that towards the end of last year bringing that in, but you don't want that to be just your one-two punch. You've got to bring in some other backs to do that. I do think we have some guys on roster that have a chance. We know Trey, we thought he had a chance last year, got banged up, was a little bit behind. I mean, I don't think he can't do it this year. So to add some competition to him, having guys like Jeff Wilson, (JaMycal) Hasty, guys on our roster. And now adding Ty with what Elijah did last year. Elijah was missing a bunch last year too. We're a running team, we like to run the ball, and any time you have a chance to get a good back, if that is what's best for your team compared to all the other positions, I don't think you can ever go wrong with a back because just look at not only us, but everybody, you play with a lot of them."
So many receivers were flying off the board. Were you anxious about being able to land one that you really liked on day two?
"Not really. We feel pretty good about our receivers. We just felt good about the skill set that Danny (Gray) had. We felt good about our three receivers last year. We were able to add Ray-Ray (McCloud) who we think can help us a lot this year, not just as a returner but also part of the group. And we've got some guys you don't know about that are good players that have bounced around this league that add some depth for training camp. This wasn't at all a position we had to go do, but when you look there in the third round, you look at the speed asset this kid has that brings something different to the rest of our guys, that's one of the reasons it was important for us to have Travis Benjamin last year. He was our main speed guy that he didn't get a lot of balls or anything, but he did things to help coverages out, and if we could find a guy like that at the right spot, we thought it was good to add him."
Ty mentioned that he met your father Mike Shanahan. Was that a planned meeting?
"No, it wasn't planned. I didn't know that he did, but my dad comes sometimes, hangs out here during draft time, and he was here the day that they came for the 30 visit, so I think he met everybody that day."
WON of Us: Mylene
For Mylene, being a 49ers fan is a multigenerational opportunity to bring the family together.
I became a fan when I was a little girl! My family have been 49ers fans my entire life and that definitely was an important part of my decision-making process for an NFL team. If I'm honest, I've been a 49ers fan for as long as I can remember. Growing up, every weekend my extended family would get together for a BBQ all to watch the 49ers play on TV. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and there is nothing more Bay Area than 49ers football.
What do you love about WON?
I think it's great! So often, women are left out of sports and the conversations around sports. I love the idea that the 49ers are offering programs that allow the organization to be more inclusive. We all gather for 49ers football. It's great that the 49ers are gathering all of the fans to engage even further.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
My favorite times definitely have always come from Candlestick Park. One memory that stands out was the 2011 Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Right before kickoff, the lights went out! The fans all thought this was a new entertainment element since the team was doing so well. What we later found out was that our beloved old park had a transformer go out and caused the disruption. That's just an example of the classic story that comes out of The Stick. It wasn't the nicest, but it was home to the Faithful. Speaking more to the mystique of that stadium, I also was able to attend the final games at Candlestick as well. The amazing comeback and redemption for NaVorro Bowman to clinch a playoff spot was truly magical. While my kids were young, I also got to take them each once. So, few kids today will get to say that but I'm so proud that they had that opportunity.
Get to know WON member Mylene.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
We tailgate at every game that we attend. While we do not have a specific tradition for what we make at the tailgate, our tradition is to gather the group of family and friends to enjoy each other's company and prepare for 49ers football. Through the years, so many of our friends and family have relocated out of state. To still bring everyone together for the tailgates is a great reunion before each game.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
The 49ers have given me irreplaceable memories with friends and generations of family, going back to my childhood. I have great memories of my Lola and Lolo as well as my aunt and uncle who are unfortunately no longer with us. I have so many great memories with the four of them because we had the Niners, and to this day it's so important for all of us together. These days my husband and I take the kids and my mom, and we continue the tradition forward at Levi's® Stadium and have even taken the tradition to road games!
You can remain Faithful no matter where you go with your very own 49ers License Plate! Support your local community by reserving your plate today. Proceeds of each plate benefit the 49ers Foundation, the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the San Francisco 49ers whose mission is to educate and empower Bay Area youth, and the California Natural Resources Agency.
Visit 49ersplates.com to place a deposit on your very own plate today and be sure to spread the word to other 49ers Faithful!
Women of the 49ers Front Office: Alison Lu
This Month in 49ers History
May 8, 1959
Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott was born in Albuquerque, NM. Lott cracked the 49ers lineup immediately and is regarded as one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history. He intercepted seven passes as a rookie, returning three for touchdowns. During his 10-year 49ers career Lott intercepted 51 passes and received nine Pro Bowl invitations while playing both safety and cornerback. San Francisco selected Lott out of USC in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1981 draft.