ATHENS - Shawn Williams told the media in Cincinnati his reaction when he got the phone call on Friday night.
"Add me to the list of Bengals from Georgia,” Williams said.
It's a long list.
Williams, who was picked in the third round by the Bengals on Friday night, is now the seventh former Georgia player on the NFL team's active roster.
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This is the fourth straight year the Bengals have picked a Georgia player, and the fifth since 2010: Last year tight end Orson Charles went in the fourth round, the prior year it was receiver A.J. Green in the first round and offensive lineman Clint Boling in the fourth round, and in 2010 it was defensive tackle Geno Atkins in the fourth round.
Williams now joins that group, which also includes 10-year veteran Robert Geathers, a defensive end, and six-year veteran Dennis Roland, an offensive lineman.
“When I came in my freshman year, I remember Geno being positive and being a role model for me to look up to. Same thing goes with A.J. Green — he was here my freshman year," Williams said, according to a transcript. "Me and Orson came in together, so it’s amazing that we can be teammates again.”
Cincinnati head coach Marvis Lewis, who has coached the Bengals since 2003, was asked Friday night about his affinity for Georgia players.
"Well, I think the coaching staff there under Ccach Mark Richt has done a great job teaching them to play aggressive, attacking football. Whether it be offense, defense, they’re all no-nonsense guys, so we really like their work ethic, how they handle and carry themselves as people and that says a lot about the program," said Lewis, whose team also drafted Odell Thurman in 2004 and David Pollack in 2005.
"I think you guys would agree that they’re personable players, they’re always approachable, they’ve always been trained the right way and they do a great job of that down there. It’s good to get another Bulldog and we have a good group of Bulldogs here and he becomes comfortable right away with guys he knows and has played with.”