Honors & Awards
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2018)
2019 Season Outlook
Junior safety Deontai Williams was one of the standouts of Nebraska’s spring practice and solidified his position as a likely starter in the defensive backfield. The 6-1, 205-pound Williams and fellow junior Marquel Dismuke stepped up at safety this spring, a position where Nebraska graduated three seniors from the 2018 defense.
Williams showed his explosiveness last season with fearless tackling and a nose for the football, intercepting two passes and causing a pair of fumbles. Williams is on track to earn his degree in child, youth and family studies in either December of 2019 or May of 2020, despite having two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Williams made an immediate impact in his first year, appearing in every game with a start against Purdue. He totaled 23 tackles and one TFL, and he had at least one tackle in 10 of Nebraska’s 12 games. Williams had a knack for the ball, forcing two fumbles, recovering one fumble, intercepting two passes and breaking up two more passes. Williams tied for the team lead in interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries.
Williams recorded his first career pass breakup in the season opener with Colorado and then posted his first career tackle the next week vs. Troy. At No. 19 Michigan, Williams picked off the first pass of his career with a diving interception in the end zone. He started the first game of his career against Purdue and recorded three tackles. He then set a career high with five tackles the next week at No. 16 Wisconsin. Williams had one tackle each against Northwestern and Minnesota. He was a disruptive force against Bethune-Cookman, totaling two tackles while recovering a fumble, intercepting a pass and breaking up another. He forced the first fumble of his career and had four tackles at No. 8 Ohio State. Williams forced another fumble the next week against Illinois, when he had a pair of tackles. He ended his season with a two-tackle performance at Iowa that included his first career tackle for loss.
Before Nebraska (Trinity Christian Academy/Jones County CC)
Williams totaled 26 tackles and recorded two interceptions and two forced fumbles for Jones County in 2017, helping the Bobcats to an 8-2 record and an appearance in the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges playoffs. In 2016, Williams played in the season opener and totaled four tackles and one fumble recovery before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. He was granted a redshirt for the 2016 season.
Regarded as a three-star recruit, Williams was ranked among the nation’s top 30 junior college prospects by the 247Sports Composite rankings, which also tabbed Williams as the nation’s No. 2 junior college safety. He chose Nebraska after also considering Florida, Ole Miss and Central Florida.
Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Williams played his high school ball for Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. Coming out of high school, Williams was ranked among the nation’s top 250 players by ESPN, and he received scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame and UCLA, among others.
Deontai was born on Oct. 4, 1996, and he is the son of Shantell Davis and Roosevelt Williams, who was a third-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and played two seasons with the Chicago Bears (2002) and the Cleveland Browns (2003). Deontai is majoring in child, youth and family studies. He volunteered with the Nebraska Football Road Race and local hospital visits.