Former ECU linebacker Williams selected No. 1 overall in CFL draft by B.C. Lions

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 11:40 PM EDT
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Former East Carolina linebacker Jordan Williams, who completed his Pirate career in 2017, was selected by the B.C. Lions as the No. 1 overall pick in the Canadian Football League (CFL) Draft on Thursday night.

Williams becomes ECU's highest professional football draft choice ever, surpassing first-round picks Robert Jones (Cowboys) and Chris Johnson (Titans) who were each selected 24th overall in the 1992 and 2007 National Football League (NFL) Drafts, respectively.

The Fayetteville, N.C. native ranked among East Carolina's top two tacklers in three-straight seasons as a full-time starter, standing second in 2015 (81) under head coach Ruffin McNeill, and first in 2016 (77) and second in 2017 (89) for Scottie Montgomery.

Overall, he opened 25 of 45 career contests and was credited with 252 stops (123 solo), 13.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, three pass breakups and an interception. Williams also turned in 11 double-digit tackle performances and booked at least one hit in 40 outings.

He made his initial impact on the Pirates' special teams squad in 2014 as a redshirt freshman after transferring from Shaw (N.C.) University and starring at Jack Britt High School under coach Brian Rimpf, a former ECU and NFL offensive lineman.

Including Williams, East Carolina now features 39 former players who played or currently hold roster positions in the CFL. He will also be the fourth Pirate to be a part of the Lions organization, following Damane Duckett, Jacobi Jenkins and Michael Brooks.

After attending a free agent camp with the Ottawa RedBlacks in 2019, Williams elected to enter the 2020 Draft as an eligible national because of his Canadian mother.

Williams earned a bachelor's degree from ECU in university studies, participating in commencement exercises on Dec. 15, 2017.