After watching Kasen Williams take part in rookie minicamp as a tryout player last month, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was impressed enough with the former University of Washington receiver that he said Seattle would try to bring Williams back at some point.
"He looked very good," Carroll said of Williams last month. "We've known him for a long time through the recruiting process, and our expectations are that he is a really accomplished receiver, great athlete getting off the ground and all—he showed all of that. He looked like he fit, so we'll try to get him back."
On Friday, the Seahawks did indeed get Williams back, signing him to the 90-man roster and waiving linebacker Mister Alexander.
Williams was the Parade All-American Player of the Year at Skyline High School and a state champion track and field athlete. He enjoyed early success at Washington, catching 77 passes for 878 yards as a sophomore, but a serious leg injury ended his junior season early and he struggled to regain his form as a senior. Williams went undrafted, which, along with the injury struggles, are things he hopes to use as motivation in the NFL.
"I've gone through a lot, but I feel great. I feel ready," Williams said after rookie minicamp. "I just want to compete every single day. I've worked so hard to get here, and to go through what I went through the last year, it puts a lot of anger in me, and I just want to use that to my advantage."
Williams showed he still has a lot of the explosiveness that made him a top recruit out of high school when he turned in the highlight of rookie minicamp, a spectacular leaping catch on which he tipped the ball to himself with one hand, then caught it on the way to the ground.
"I'd say the best is yet to come," he said. "I feel 100 percent, I feel back to myself, but the best is yet to come."
Alexander, 27, signed with Seattle in March as a free agent. Undrafted out of Florida State in 2011, Alexander spent time with Houston, Tampa Bay and Dallas, as well as the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.