David Williams

Class of 2019

David Williams came to the Canadian Football League after two seasons in the National Football League and a productive career at the University of Illinois. Williams became the first player to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award in his initial season, which was in 1988.

Williams played for five teams in the CFL from 1988 to 1995, the B.C. Lions in 1988-89, Ottawa Rough Riders in 1990, Edmonton Eskimos in 1991, Toronto Argonauts in 1991-92 and Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1993 to 1995.

Williams won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 1988, when he led the league in receptions 83, receiving yards 1,468 and touchdowns 18. His 18 majors tied the TD record by a receiver and was the sixth highest total by any CFL player at that time. His 18 receiving TD’s in 1988 were still tied for the fourth best single season total as of the end of 2018. Showing he had a knack for finding the end zone Williams led the CFL in 1993 in receiving TD’s with 15, when he was with Winnipeg.

He was a CFL All-Star in 1988 and 1993, and also a Divisional All-Star in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1993.

He finished his career with 439 receptions for 7,197 yards, averaging 16.4 yards per reception and scoring 78 TD’s. Williams averaged a TD every 5.6 receptions. In five full seasons over a six year span from 1988 to 1993, Williams averaged 75 receptions, 1,220 yards, 16.3 yards per catch and 15 TD’s per year. In his career, he totalled four 1,000-yard receiving seasons, two 200-yard games and 25 100-yard receiving games.

He won a Grey Cup with Toronto in 1991 and was a finalist in 1988 with B.C. and 1993 in Winnipeg. Williams played in 101 regular season games and 8 playoff contests.

Williams played at Illinois from 1983 to 1985 and was consensuses two-time First-team All-American. In 1984, Williams led all NCAA Division I receivers with 101 receptions, 1278 receiving yards, and 9.2 receptions per game becoming the second player in NCAA history to have more than 100 receptions in a season. Williams finished his collegiate career as the second leading receiver in NCAA history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Playing Career

B.C Lions
Ottawa Rough Riders
Edmonton Eskimos
Toronto Argonauts
Winnipeg Blue Bombers


  • CFL Western All-Star
  • CFL Eastern All-Star
  • CFL All-Star
  • CFL Most Outstanding Player
  • Grey Cup Game Participation
  • Grey Cup Winning Team