Last Season Not Forgotten for Jamar Williams

Any maroon and gold faithful watching each and every game tape from the 2003 season, would probably be labeled by his peers as a masochist. However, when you're a Sun Devil player it's your duty and obligation to dissect game film in the off-season. The ASU linebacker told DevilsDigest that as painful as the 5-7 campaign was, there is much to learn from it.

"It drives us and gives us a lot to work for," Williams said of last year's campaign. "We can't do anything about last season, but learn from it. Everyday when we watch film it hurts to see it, but I also know it's a very good teaching tool. So, that's how we're gonna use last season, and just get better everyday."

The junior who was the team's leader in tackles for loss (10 1/2) also came in fifth in total tackles with 68. These days, Williams is truly enjoying the change from conditioning mode to a gridiron state of mind. "It feels good to get the helmet back on," he said. " We've been working very hard in the weight room, so even to come out here without pads is good, because the whole defense is now together on the field. We did a lot of conditioning, and now it's time to play some football. I'm anxious to see how everyone improved from last year."

Just like many others, the linebacker realizes the new ultra competitive nature of this year's practices. Aside from that, he points out some other unique aspects that characterize spring practice. "Compared to season practices we're doing more learning and getting back to the very basics," commented Williams. "We have a lot of young guys that didn't play last year, and now get to show what they have. They're guys that you may not expect to do big things, and here in practice they can surprise you and step up."

As a member of the defense, Williams has been part of the transformation from the 4-2-5 to the 4-3-4 scheme. We asked him to evaluate this transition. "It's a little bit different," he remarked. "But most of it is the same. I think the new alignment will help us a lot with the running game. Having the extra linebacker is great for our defense. All those safeties that converted (to linebacker) Matt Fawley, J.W Lucas, Lamar Baker, are doing great. They're fitting in real nice for us."

Williams' goals for the spring convey a sense of hunger and yearning for a better season than the one before. "As linebackers, we want to get everyone on the same page and up to date," he said. "I personally want to learn the new defense we have. You never as good as you think you are. So, if I can get better everyday in everything I do, I'll be a better player and I'll be able to contribute more to the team."

Indeed, a refreshing and positive attitude from a player who is already one of the best defenders on the team…

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