NEW YORK ― Ross Coleman never met a stranger.
Friday evening ― at a Built Ford Tough Series pre-event party sponsored by Monster Energy ― he unknowingly met Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams.
An hour later, after introducing Williams to friends he had known for years, Coleman said, “We’ll be friends for life.”
Coleman added, “I saw him and I didn’t know who he was, but I could tell he looked like a baller. Plus he had his CINCH gear on, so I thought, I need to go talk to him. I introduced myself to him and I didn’t even know he was a football player or anything – at first – but he looked like one obviously.”
Williams has been a longtime PBR fan since growing up in Round Rock, Texas, which is located right outside of Austin, where he played football for the University of Texas before being drafted in the second round (34th pick overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.
The third-year pro is interested in one day having a ranch and raising bucking bulls.
For now he’s focused on his football career, but, in the meantime, after talking with Coleman, he’s decided to get involved with the ABBI’s Back Seat Buckers program, now in its third season.
Williams introduced himself to four-time Stock Contractor of the Year Jeff Robinson in New York and hopes to eventually get more involved in the bull business and buy into some bulls before, perhaps, raising some bucking bulls after his playing career.
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He said only through hard work and dedication will he prove he’s serious about bull riding and that he “can do more than just hit and catch a football.”
“Meeting guys like that really gets my heart into it,” said Williams, who appreciated the opportunity to come to a Built Ford Tough Series event and learn more about the sport. “I plan on having this as a career after football, so I really try to get into it.”
He added, “Bull riding events and rodeos, they’re kind of like my sanctuary away from football.”
Williams also spent time in New York chatting and getting to know reigning World Champion J.B. Mauney.
Williams, 23, said he’s been watching the PBR since he was 7 years old and talked about being a Ty Murray fan in the early years of the PBR. He even mentioned Round Rock is only two hours from Murray’s ranch in Stephenville, Texas.
“These guys make it look easy, but – really – it takes a lot of skill and heart to do it,” Williams said about riding a bull.
While he has no inclination of turning pro, Williams did make it a point to say that he’s certain he could fare better than former NFL receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, who attempted bull riding a few years ago at an event in Duluth, Ga., just outside of Atlanta.
“I definitely know I can do better than him,” Williams proclaimed. “I got a great teacher like Ross. I know I can last more than a second—probably.”
That said, Williams tipped his hat to the outspoken receiver for going through with his attempt even after he realized he was outmatched.
In fact, given Johnson’s status as an elite athlete, Williams said his 1.5-second effort on Deja Blu illustrates just how much athleticism and skill it takes to ride bulls.
“It takes a heck of a man to come out here and get on a bull like that,” said Williams, who added that Johnson showed heart and courage by doing so. “You have to have respect for the sport and respect for the animal. You can’t come out here and just get on a bull and just ride it like it’s nobody’s business or you’re sadly mistaken.
“Chad’s the type of person, who will try anything once. I know right now he’s in this phase of riding with a killer whale or something.”
“He does stuff like that,” Williams continued, “but I don’t think he really knew what he was getting himself into until he actually came in and practiced with Ty (Murray) and actually got on a bull. It really scared him to death, but I give him a lot of respect for even trying it.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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