Williams Impresses in Scrimmage

Since joining the Arizona State football team in 2006, junior wide receiver Kyle Williams has consistently improved and shown scary spikes of potential and athleticism. Now entering his third season in the maroon and gold he is more ready than ever to break out offensively.

In case you missed the 2007 season, Kyle Williams is good. After breathtaking touchdown catches against Colorado and Washington State and winning all-conference honors as a punt returner, the speedy receiver established himself as a threat that opposing defenses need to be cognizant of. While Williams earned several accolades, he is not resting on his laurels and is taking advantage of summer ball to hone his skills.

"Summer is going real good. I got a chance to work a lot on my route running which is something I was weak at last year and I got a lot better," said Williams.

Williams' improvement was evident in Saturday's scrimmage at Camp Tontozona as he recorded six catches for 66 yards and made the punt coverage unit look as if they were running in slow motion when he broke a return for big yardage. The day may have been a success for the junior individually, but he acknowledged that the offense as a whole does need some polishing.

"(The Scrimmage) went ok," Williams commented. "On the offensive side of the ball we could have been better executing the little things. Penalties were a problem and we just made mental mistakes. The defense played great and we have a lot of improving to do but we're on the right track."

The biggest positive change for Williams in his tenure with the Sun Devils was undoubtedly the arrival of Dennis Erickson and, perhaps most importantly, wide receivers coach Eric Yarber. When asked about Yarber after today's scrimmage Williams could not help but smile before responding.

"Coach Yarber is probably the best coach I've ever had," said Williams. "He has a track record with guys like Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh. He does nothing but help us out and he's going to put us in the right position to win and make plays."

The wide receiver's embrace and respect for the coaching staff can be noticed without Williams even speaking. Right where his lower back pad drops below his jersey written in bold, black sharpie marker is the word "SWAG".

"Swag is swagger," Williams explained. "That's what Coach Erickson's teams have been known for and that's what I think I have to have as my mind set individually to play to my capabilities. I have to have myself mentally ready before I go out there and play physically. I think that's half the battle."

Despite all of his ability and athleticism, the junior wide receiver is still not a clear cut starter, as he mainly battles with Kerry Taylor for the H (slot) WR spot. The Sun Devils boast one of the nation's deepest and gifted group of wide receivers and brought in several talented freshmen at the position (Williams singled out A.J. Pickens as the freshman that has impressed him the most). But the logjam at the position and the fact that he will have to fight for playing time does not bother Williams.

"We have a good rotation," he noted. "We have about five, six guys that could start anywhere they want to. I think I'm going to be in there. I'll relieve Chris (McGaha) and Mike (Jones). Me and Kerry (Taylor) will be switching off inside. We're going to have a lot of four-receiver sets so I'm going to be in there too. I'm going to have ample opportunity to do what I have to do."

With the 2008 regular season bearing down on the Sun Devils, Williams cites performance in "big games" as the area the team needs to upgrade and believes newfound team cohesion will prevent the team from faltering in prime time.

"We need to step up to the plate in big games," said Williams. "We did last year for the most part, but there were a couple games where we didn't execute. We're on more of the same page this year. We're on the same page with Rudy and a lot of the hot reads and blitz reads we have to pick up we'll be together on as opposed to last year where we didn't really know of the entire offense."

"It's going to be a good year."

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