via Sports Illustrated
With the exception of a few exemptions over the years, Madden’s 99 Club has long been dominated by MVP candidates, and frontrunners for Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year.
But, every now and then, players who dominate the game at less glamorous positions receive the recognition they rightfully deserve. On Wednesday, in anticipation of the upcoming release of Madden NFL 23, representatives from EA Sports paid a special visit to one of the newest members of this year’s class: 49ers left tackle Trent Williams.
A video shared on social media by running back Adrian Peterson, Williams’ former Oklahoma teammate and a past 99 Club member (Madden ’14), shows the moment the 33-year-old learned he had been selected to join the exclusive group.
Williams, a nine-time Pro Bowler fresh off a dominant second season in San Francisco, is the first offensive lineman since Seahawks Hall of Fame LT Walter Jones (Madden ’07) to receive a 99 rating in the game, and just the ninth OL in the game’s history to earn the honor (Jonathan Ogden, Larry Allen, Randall McDaniel, *Tony Boselli, Mark Schlereth, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson; note: Boselli was a 100 rating in Madden 99).
Williams later took to social media to share a video of himself rocking a custom-made “99” chain along with a caption that read, “@eamaddennfl 99 club #Blessed” and a silverback gorilla emoji–a nod to his “Silverback” nickname.
The No. 4 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Williams has already given the Niners plenty of reasons to be thankful since arriving to the club in April 2020 in a blockbuster trade with Washington.
After turning in an eighth Pro Bowl campaign in 2020, Williams continued his stellar play with yet another impactful showing last season. In addition to earning a 98.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, the highest of any player in 2021, Williams received his first career first-team All-Pro selection and was named to the Pro Bowl for a ninth time. The 49ers finished the year 10–7 and eventually fell in the NFC championship game to the Rams, who went on to win Super Bowl LVI.
With Williams’ addition now official, it’ll be interesting to see who else joins the club after EA Sports named just five players to the list a year ago. Madden NFL 23 is set to release on Aug. 19.