BEREA — If recommendations from the LSU coaching staff prove to be true, the most famous missed call in Browns’ draft history occurred Friday night.
As Browns coach Freddie Kitchens put it, “Greedy was giddy,” so it was hard to piece together the details of how LSU cornerback Greedy Williams learned of his second-round selection, 46th overall. Especially since the 21-year-old redshirt sophomore was excitedly speaking by an elevator in a Holiday Inn in Shreveport, La., on a conference call with the media. Nearby, about 150 friends and family were packed inside a room that might have been testing the fire marshal’s limit.
But one thing was certain. When the call of his life came from the 216, Williams didn’t pick up.
He had two phones, one he called “the draft phone.” His 2-year-old daughter Khloe was with him. He didn’t recognize the area code. The room was loud. Someone told him to look at his phone, but the caller had hung up.
“I called back, it was Cleveland,” Williams said.
The front desk attendant transferred him to General Manager John Dorsey. When that connection was made, it didn’t get much easier.
“[Khloe] was crying when the phone call was going on,” Williams said. “I made sure I grabbed her first, ‘Daddy’s here. We finally made it, we’re going to be in Cleveland.’ I hope she’s ready to put on orange and brown and white.”
To Dorsey, there seems little doubt of Williams’ devotion, both to football and to his daughter. For Khloe’s birthday on April 5, Williams posted a picture of her on Instagram wearing a shirt in LSU colors of purple, yellow and white that said, “My Dad is Known To B Greedy.” He included a touching message.
“Happy birthday to the best daughter a dad could ever wish for!!!” he wrote. “I’m not able to celebrate your birthday due to my job but for damn sure I will make it up. I love you baby girl, you have made me the man I am today. Forever thankful, for you and I would never give you reason to say daddy wasn’t there. You are the biggest blessing that I cherish everyday. You the reason behind daddy success….”
In a trade with the Indianapolis Colts that cost only a fifth-round pick (No. 144), Dorsey jumped three spots from No. 49 to grab the Associated Press second-team All-America, a first-round talent whom Dorsey thought would go in the first five spots in the second round. Dorsey said one of Williams’ college coaches called him “one of the most gifted corners to come through LSU.”
In discussing Williams, Dorsey was a little giddy himself.
“If you talk to certain people at LSU, he is immensely talented,” Dorsey said. “I think he is a third-year sophomore, so he is young. From his talent perspective, he has everything that I like — he has hips, he has feet and he has length. He can play press, and he can play off. Now, you just want to see him mature moving forward. I think this is a really good pick.”
Williams and Denzel Ward, the fourth overall pick last year, could form a dynamic cornerback duo not seen in Cleveland since the days of Top Dawg and Mighty Minni (aka Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield) in the glory days of the 1980s.
But even if that happens, this night could be remembered more because of a missed call and the emotions of a man nicknamed Greedy by his aunt when he was 6 months old because he needed so much milk.
“I’m just overwhelmed ...” Williams said. “I’m ready to get there and love on the fans, love on the coaches. It’s a big day for me.”
Marla Ridenour can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.