MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — High school, college, and now the NFL, Marcus Williams has been an underdog his entire career: It’s a role Williams relishes.

New York Jets cornerback Marcus Willams is just two years into his NFL career, but it’s what he’s doing off the field that makes him a Minnesotan to Meet.

“I enjoyed going to the parks playing, doing what I can to stay out of trouble,” said Williams.

Minneapolis North High School Football Field is a place New York Jets cornerback Marcus Williams knows well. The field is a place where Williams tried to escape and stay focused from neighborhood distractions.

His first NFL interception came against a four-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady.

“Got the ball — still have it at home,” Williams said.

Coming off an excellent sophomore season in the Jets’ backfield, Marcus finished the year fifth in the league with six interceptions during the regular season.

“For me it just shows the hard work I have put in, I’m not trying to be known, I’m just trying to show people I belong,” said Williams.

His father saw his potential early and moved the family to Hopkins when Marcus was a ninth-grader.

“I was fortunate to have a father who helped me out and showed me right from wrong and also sports,” said Williams.

After high school, NDSU gave him a chance. The Bison were 3-8 his freshman year.

“I remember my freshman year we decided to keep each other accountable and do something that no school has ever done,” said Williams.

He took his class to dynasty status, leading the Bison to three straight FCS national championships, an historic accomplishment.

“For me it just shows the hard work I have put in, I’m not trying to be known, I’m just trying to show people I belong,” said Williams when asked about his great second year in the NFL.

Wiliams said he was passed up at every level, including the NFL where he was an undrafted free agent.

“I just love when I hear, who is this guy? He came out of nowhere,” Williams said.

Williams recently decided to host his first-ever leadership camp.

“It’s always good to give back, I wasn’t able to go to camps when I was younger,” said Williams.

He hopes to inspire area youth to make good decisions in the neighborhood where he got his first taste of football.

“Definitely sports, some of the guys took the wrong path, I always knew the outcome of that choice wasn’t going to be very well,” Williams said.

The Plymouth resident continues to prepare for the last year of his rookie contract, Williams hopes to be at the top of the list on the depth chart this season and crack the starting line-up.

Ali Lucia

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