When the Jacksonville Jaguars kickoff against the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville this Sunday, the stadium will be filled with thousands of fans supporting one team or the other.
But in a sea of green and teal jerseys, there will also be more than 60 people supporting both teams. Or more specifically, supporting two players: Jaguars linebacker Quincy Williams and Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, a pair of brothers who are each in their rookie seasons.
On Sunday, the two brothers and their family members will be able to soak in the experience of each of them sharing a stadium at the highest level of football. From growing up together to going through the NFL Draft process alongside one another, the two have been on this journey together, and Sunday presents yet another memory to be made.
“It is going to be huge, man,” Quincy Williams told JaguarMaven this week. “The biggest thing is we are very, very competitive. So we have been dreaming about this moment since we were like little kids and stuff — we talked about it a lot.”
For Quinnen Williams, Sunday will be the culmination of all of the hard work he and his brother put in before they were drafted to NFL franchises. The two worked relentlessly alongside one another to get to the point where they each achieve their dreams.
“Just growing up man, we pushed each other,” Quinnen Williams told JaguarMaven this week. “All of us were just competitive in everything we did and to just see it all pay off is just amazing. Just to be in the same stadium and on the same field, competing against each other at the highest level, at the professional level, it is just amazing to me.”
That competitiveness is something that was instilled in the pair early on and sticks with each of them today. As they have played against the NFL’s elite in different games this season, with Quinnen Williams facing Tom Brady and Quincy Williams defending Patrick Mahomes.
“Both of us are very competitive. Both of us want to be the best at what we do,” Quinnen Williams said.
Quincy Williams will not be lining up against his younger brother on Sunday since both play defense, and the rookie linebacker has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. But Sunday will still be the first time either had ever been on opposing sides when on a gameday, making it a milestone for the brothers.
The two were teammates at Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Alabama and never played against each other at the collegiate level with Quincy at Murray State University and Quinnen at the University of Alabama.
“(We) always played on the same team growing up, then didn’t play on the same team in college but we never got to actually play against each other,” Quincy Williams said. “This is going to be the first time where we actually get to see each other in different jerseys or actually battle against each other.”
The two had been dreaming about playing on Sundays ever since they were kids, but for things to fall in place like they have is nothing short of amazing for the pair. Quincy Williams said 63 members of their family will be in attendance Sunday, and each will undoubtedly be bursting with excitement in what is another memory in the Williams brothers.
After all, the two already experienced the surreal NFL Draft process together and then they heard their names announced on consecutive nights in the first 100 picks of the draft. Quinnen Williams was selected third overall by the Jets, while the Jaguars took Quincy Williams with the 98th overall selection.
“We were just in awe that both of us got drafted in the same year and that both of us made it to the highest level in the same year,” Quinnen Williams said.
And the road to those moments started long before Quincy and Quinnen Williams were NFL rookies, with each of them becoming core pieces of their team’s defenses already. Growing up alongside someone with the same drive and dream that one holds for themselves is a big reason why they are each where they are now, Quincy Williams explained.
“Just the competitive nature of knowing you have somebody next to you, that basically sleeps next to you, that is going through the same thing, that wants the same thing,” Quincy Williams said.
“You know the saying ‘surround yourself with the people on the same mission.’ It is actually my brother that is on the same mission as me. So you came from the same household, both got the same parents, got the same dream. So, it is amazing.”
The two have leaned on each other during their rookie seasons, talking about not only football but about life, providing each other with strong support systems through their first years as NFL players.
“We talk every single day,” Quincy Williams said. “People come in with different backgrounds, but me and him have the same background, so we can talk about it and stuff.”
The two will swap jerseys after the game, Quincy Williams said, and there will undoubtedly be a plethora of photos taken of the two after the game. But before that final whistle blows, each is going to be more focused on what their jobs are on Sunday, and understandably so.
But regardless of who wins or loses in their first matchup against each other, the pair knows it is a memory to be made. They are, of course, not the first pair of brothers to play in the NFL, but for them to have made it to this point in the same exact year in their lives is something worth remembering.
The Williams brothers worked their entire lives to make it to the NFL. Now, they can each call themselves NFL rookies at the same time. And while they will be calling each other the opponent on Sunday, they will still be something more important: brothers with a dream.
“Just being in the NFL in general is something we have been dreaming about since we were kids,” Quinnen Williams said.
“God has a plan for everybody, and it was a dope plan in our lives.”