Williams Shining Through First Spring Week

Jovon Williams had a disappointing season in 2008. He caught only three passes and did not make an appearance on the stat sheet in ten of twelve games. But after a long offseason of waiting, Williams is ready to put the past behind him and have a breakout senior season.

Do a quick skim over the stat sheet from Saturday's scrimmage. Anything jump out? How about Jovon Williams leading all receivers with 81 yards?

The athletic tight end from Covina, Calif. stepped his game up and raised a few eyebrows with the impressive performance. Williams was modest about achievements and talked about his work in the offseason.

"We have great receivers, everyone knows that." said Williams. "But if they have an off day we have to have somebody be able to step up and tighten that strap a little bit and that's what I did (on Saturday). It takes the pressure off the receivers. We have a lot of go to guys, anybody can make a play at any given time and if I have to be that go to guy, I'll be that go to guy.

"I improved strength wise (in the offseason). I got stronger, but I didn't get bigger. I got faster and I can run better routes because I lost weight. There wasn't much improvement where I needed to improve though. I always could run routes and was fast, but I need to get bigger."

Williams also wasn't shy in admitting other areas in need of improvement.

"As a blocker I've got work to do. That's the down point of me being a tight end. I'm not wide enough and I can't head up on blocks but that will continue to be a focal point of my training."

Now through four practices and a scrimmage, Williams seemed ambivalent about where the team is.

"We just have to get better. Everybody is out here working hard, trying to put their name on the spot but we're just going to continue to work hard, be a team and stay consistent throughout the spring." Mused Williams.

Things seem to be going well for him now, but the thought of the 2008 season is still a sore spot for Williams.

"As a team we didn't step up to our expectations. We were held up to high expectations and we didn't really succeed where we needed to. I don't look at individual things but as a team we didn't do well and we're going to change that this year."

The offense flat for most of 2008, but even when they were clicking the tight ends were nothing more than an after thought or a safety option. Williams was cheerful but authoritative as he succinctly stated that that aspect off the offense must be changed this year.

There is plenty of reason to believe that Williams is right and that tight ends will be more involved with the offense this year. Everyone has another year under their belt and the group now has a new leader, tight ends coach Jamie Christian. Christian coached running back for the Sun Devils in 2008.

"Coach Christian is a great coach," Remarked Williams. "He's teaching us a lot of things we didn't learn last year as far as coverage's and reading the defense. We all have a lot to learn so were going to have to chug it out and make this thing go."

As a senior, Williams is looking forward to his final year in the maroon and gold but admits that there is already a growing sense of urgency.

"There is a lot of urgency. This my last go around and I'm trying to make it to the next level like everyone else."

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