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Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams pursues combine bench press record

NFL

Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams casts an intimidating figure. He has a bulky upper body and a maximum bench press of 600 pounds.

And the 6-foot-4, 320-pounder has multiple tattoos on various parts of his body, including his neck, face and his head. One on the side of his head reads: "fear is a liar."

He has another on his face that says, "YOLO," as in "You Only Live Once," popularized by Canadian rapper Drake.

Williams is a native of Brisbane, Australia who grew up playing rugby before being recruited to play football at an Arizona junior college and winning a national championship at Alabama.

"For me, it's just a constant reminder of where I'm from," said Williams, who began playing football when he was 15. "Fear is a liar is just about pushing myself and not having fear of failure. All these tattoos are little reminders of what I'm all about.

"The culture is pretty different in Australia. I guess growing up over there kind of shaped my mentality and how I play and work ethic and being able to come over and try to outwork people. It helps growing up that way."

Williams has been projected in one mock draft as the Ravens' pick at No. 32 overall in the first round.

He met briefly with the Ravens here at the NFL scouting combine.

"It was good," Williams said. "They have a great defense. They're pretty hard-nosed like the way we played at Alabama. They have a bunch of Alabama players there already. It would be a great fit, I feel to learn from the great players and coaches they have there."

Williams' rugby background provided him with physical preparation for football since collisions ensued without the benefit of pads.

"I think aggressiveness plays a pretty big part in playing the defensive line and especially hitting without pads and then here using pads," Williams said. "I wouldn't say it shaped my game, but it helped me being aggressive.

"I love this sport. I like being powerful and being able to control my body and use the techniques I have to be successful."

Williams won't run or do position drills at the combine because he's recuperating from arthroscopic knee surgery, but said he's on track to do a full workout at his campus Pro Day.

Williams is going to try to break the bench press record of 51 repetitions of 225 pounds.

"I will give it my best," he said. "A lot of teams know I'm pretty strong already. I'm trying to showcase my size and the way I can move."

awilson@baltsun.com

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