Williams Has a Sense of Urgency

It is only natural that an athlete going into his senior season tends to be reflective. This especially holds true with players, such as Jamar Williams, who were heavily under-recruited just to become one of the best in his position in the Pac-10. The linebacker is appreciative of his good fortune which helped him rise from obscurity. However, he also knows that his has one last season to make an impact and achieve his highest of goals.

"I'm trying to leave nothing untouched," said the 6-1 236 Jamar Williams. "I don't want to look back at the season wishing I should have done this or done that. Dale Robinson feels the same way. We want to be the leaders on this defense, and if we do our jobs as great leaders everything else will take care of itself."

Another typical thought going through a mind of a player about to end his college career is the prospect of playing in the NFL. "That's my aspiration," he admitted, "just like when I played in high school my aspiration was to play in college. But you tuck that in the back of your mind and focus on the small things. I just need to worry about making the play when I need to, and then getting ready for the next play."

"Every year I try to up my standards and this year is going to be very important to me to go out there, prove what I can do, and hopefully play at the next level. But you really have to take one day at a time and get better."

Just like the rest of the defense, the senior is experiencing the transition from old defensive coordinator Brent Guy to current coordinator Bill Miller. "It's going great," he remarked concerning that shift. "At first we had the whole feeling-out process, but Coach Miller is a great guy and has our best interests at heart. Time after time he coaches guys that made it to the next level, and his schemes are an NFL system. Our system is harder than last year, and hopefully that will help us with the offenses that will see this season."

Since Miller is also the linebackers coach, the changeover Williams and his fellow linebackers are experiencing may be deeper than the rest of the defense. Thus, how different will this linebacker group look like this year? "We have many different schemes," Williams explained. "We have a lot more coverages, more inside help with the running game. Coach Miller has a defense that is made for linebackers to make plays. We'll have more blitzes for me and Dale. Hopefully one of us can be up for the Butkus Award at the end of the year."

With the switch to 4-3 alignment last year, Williams occupied the ‘Devil' linebacker position (called ‘Will' this year), which resembled a hybrid between a linebacker and a safety. This season, with the move of Robinson to the Mike (middle linebacker) role, Williams will assume the ‘SAM' (strong side) spot. "I've been through three different defenses, and played all three positions," he commented. "It's nothing new for me, because I'm used to something new and new position every year. You have to learn to adjust – that's football."

The senior's old role will now be occupied by Robert James, who Williams pays high praise to. "He's doing great," Williams said. "He came in the spring with a strong work ethic and an attitude that he wants to start. It's evident in every play, every drill that he wants to be the starter. But we have guys that are gonna challenge him, challenge me, and challenge Dale. It's gonna be a lot of fun. It's gonna be real competitive and the best are gonna line up there on Saturdays."

Williams has been solid in all aspects of his game in his three years here. But if there's one topic that causes him constant ribbing, is the fact that he seems every season to have an interception and run a great distance with the ball, just to be denied a touchdown. Is this the year where his luck will change? "Definitely!" he exclaimed. "People already forgot that I have one (interception for touchdown) at Sun Devil stadium in 2003 (smile). But that's OK. You'll see a lot more highlights from me, a lot more sacks, blitzes, but I'm definitely getting into the (end) zone this year."

And with a solid performance both him and his team are likely to go places and reach new heights…

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