Williams Steps Into Leadership Role

After suffering through a difficult 2008 season senior wide receiver Kyle Williams is ready to become a leader on and off the field for Arizona State.

It may seem like an eternity ago that the Sun Devil offense was firing on all cylinders and hanging thirty plus on opponents without breaking a sweat. Yet, this all took place only a year a half ago and some of the players from that dangerous 2007 squad are still donning the maroon and gold.

Kyle Williams certainly has not forgotten that season and some of his highlight reel plays from that year will always be etched in the minds of Sun Devil fans. The phantom, out-of-no-where, diving touchdown catch against Colorado and the jaw dropping one-handed grab over the middle against Washington State are just a couple of examples that immediately come to mind.

When spring ball started a few weeks back it appeared that the offense was still mired with the problems that plagued the team last year. The running game looked weak, the offensive line was having trouble picking up assignments, quarterbacks were erratic and the receivers struggled to find consistency.

However, by week three the offense finally kicked it in gear and gave onlookers a glimpse of Sun Devil offenses of the past that were dynamic and near impossible to keep down. As a collective unit the offense scored five touchdowns and racked up over three hundred yards.

Their performance during this Saturday's Spring Game wasn't quite as impressive, but signs of improvement were evident.

"It has been a good spring so," said Williams. "We have put in a lot of new things into the offense. We may not have shown how much progress we have made today but the offense has made a lot of progress and I'm proud of where we're at.

"Whenever you come out and turn the ball over early it's hard to bounce back form that but the defense is playing really well and it's hard to take anything away from them. Give the defense a lot of credit. They are playing good."

Individually, Williams has been as productive as any other offensive player this spring and says he feels like his game has taken a big step forward. Now a senior, Williams also knows that being a leader for his team is imperative. He was even honored by the ‘Hard Hat' award by the strength and conditioning coaches for the intense work he put in over the off-season.

"Anytime you can come out and get practice in you are going to get better," Williams stated. "I think I got better over the spring. I had a lot of things to work on, I addressed them and I think I'm a more complete football player.

"I put on some weight in the offseason. I also have to step up as a leader now that I'm going to be a senior. I did a lot of growing up and it's going to be an integral part of this team, guys stepping up and being leaders. I think that is the biggest thing."

For the first time as a Sun Devil, Williams is adjusting to a new quarterback. It appears that senior Danny Sullivan has the inside track to get the starting job but regardless of which player wins an inexperienced signal caller will be under center this year.

"Danny is doing great," commented Williams. "I like having (Sullivan) back there. I like all of them. Brock (Osweiler) and Samson (Szakacsy) are going to be great players. I think Danny is our guy and he's shown that he's the guy and has stepped up big."

Similar to every Sun Devil that was around for the 5-7 2008 campaign, Williams is ready to wash the sting away from a season that was disappointing on so many levels.

"We have to win more than five games," Williams said. "We have to have a better year. We have to have a better season all together and we can't lose to the boys from down south.

"We can't let that happen again, ever."


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