EXPIRED: 05/25/10 – Jarvis Williams, 45, was a former defensive back who, after playing 6 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, split for the New York Giants for one final year in 1994.

Williams made his mark on Florida’s football landscape. From the early days of high school to his first five years in the NFL, Williams never needed to leave the state to cement his legacy.

During his five-year tenure with the Dolphins, Williams intercepted 14 interceptions — highlighted by a 42-yard return for a touchdown during the 1990 season. He was an aggressive safety who overcame mediocre athleticism because of his work ethic.

Even before he made it to the NFL, Williams was a star. For the Florida Gators, he was named a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1986 and a first-team All-American in 1987. He is a member of UF’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

After retiring, he dedicated his life to coaching and helping young people and started volunteering as a football coach at Florida’s Interlachen High School in Putnam County earlier this year. Principal Phyllis Criswell said he appeared to be in good shape and perfectly healthy at practice on Tuesday afternoon.

He either died of a heart attack or acute asthma attack. Jury’s still out.




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