Usually, every year at training camp, there's one off-the-radar player whom fans select as their annual diamond in the rough. We're all guilty of hyping a newcomer who shines in the preseason but won't be in the NFL in a few weeks. It's a training camp tradition, really.
Preston Williams is not that newcomer. He's dominating the first-team defense in practices. He was the star of the Dolphins' first preseason game against the Falcons. And he's continued his strong camp by lighting up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' cornerbacks in this week's combined practices.
Oh, and he's the "unicorn." At least that's what we're all discovering now. None of this makes sense, but you love to see it.
Coming out of Colorado State, Williams didn't have much hype. He started at Tennessee, sat out a year, and then transferred to Colorado State, where he eventually broke out in his junior year with 96 catches, 1,345 yards, and 13 touchdowns, many of the what-the-hell-was-that-sorcery variety. Though he had eye-popping highlight film, his shine was dimmed by off-the-field problems that caused him to miss the NFL combine and, eventually, go undrafted in April.
That's where the Dolphins came in, nabbing him right after the NFL Draft and prompting Five Reasons Sports guru Chris Kouffman to call Williams the second-best player the Dolphins acquired all weekend, after first-round pick Christian Wilkins.
That sounded crazy then, but not so much now. Consider the rest of us caught up to speed on the man, the myth, the unicorn — Preston Williams. Fans are having a ball watching him kill it in an otherwise uneventful training camp that comes before a season not many expect to be too pretty for the team.
The hype culminated earlier this week when Williams apparently unveiled his new football version of his personal AND1 mixtape. Oh, baby!
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Williams will get another chance to show his other-worldly unicorn skills when the Dolphins face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7:30 tonight. If he continues his dominance, scores a touchdown or two, and overall throws a few more logs onto the Preston Williams bonfire, there might be a full-fledged emergency when the team releases his #82 in the team store.