During a recent interview on the "Bleav in Everything Auburn" podcast, Auburn associate head football coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams recalled his time as interim head coach following Bryan Harsin's firing.

Williams, who starred at Auburn and in the NFL, breathed life back into the Auburn program and led his alma mater to a 2-2 record after Harsin's tumultuous time on the Plains came to an end. The Auburn running backs coach said he and the staff emphasized the importance of character to his players so they would experience success both on the field and off the field.

"[I] want to be honest and blunt. When I first got asked to do it by Rich [McGlynn] and Dr. Roberts, I asked them, 'Are you guys sure? Me? No way. I'm not a head coach.' So, start off with that," Williams said.

"[I]t was just no blueprint. And honestly, thank God for the players. And I honestly say that because of my room, guys in my room, from Tank Bigsby, Jarquez Hunter, Damari Alston, Sean Jackson, you know, those guys that I coached. When I got thrown into that fire, they could see the first day, the first two days — I mean, I never had a headache. My entire face had a headache, and I actually had never experienced it. And them guys could see the stress, and I can remember them guys coming into my office, and they were like, 'Coach, just be you, coach.'"

"Honestly, through a lot of prayer and hearing my guys say that, it actually calmed my nerves, to be honest with you," he continued. "And I just simplified it, to be honest with you. What are things that were important to me ... as a player, as a coach. What are things that I wanted to do, and how did I live my life? I modeled a lot of stuff I said from my mom. So, honestly, it's serve, discipline and believe."

Williams went on to reflect on his first game as head coach, an overtime loss at Mississippi State.

"One thing that we said all week, 'fight or quit,' and we are going to be together," he recalled. "And I told them I don't care if we win a game. I want to see Auburn football, I want to see us play hard, and I want to see them play for each other. And when I got into the locker room and to hear those players back and forth saying fight or quit, we're going to play for each other - like to hear them coming together, and we were down ... something that we were down crazy, and to hear those players like everybody rallying together because before that when the coaches that were on staff know at halftime even when we were up in games, it felt like we were losing, and to hear those seniors ... saying we're going to fight for each other, we're not done. I went back to the coaches. I was like, yo, guys, we were out of whack."

Williams said his team's return home against Texas A&M the next game and experiencing the Auburn family's enthusiasm at Tiger Walk was eye-opening for the players. He added that the team played for the seniors, who he noted had gone "through a rough time" like the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple head coaches and George Floyd's death.

"I honestly think the Auburn family, the fans, the way they came and supported those players, sold out the game — I mean, we were 3-6, guys — the game sold out. And those guys — they played for each other, man. They played for the fans."

"Man, what a time that was," he beamed. "Like, wow."

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