Big plays the key for Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams has always passed the lobby test, that is if you saw the Wildcats enter a lobby you'd be drawn to Williams. He's tall, athletic and just looks like a wide receiver. Unfortunately, Williams hasn't performed as well as he looks. If spring drills are any indication, that could all change.

Williams was an All-State receiver from Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles where he scored 40 touchdowns. Those type of plays made Williams a SuperPrep All-American and a Long Beach Press-Telegram Best In The West selection. When he committed to Arizona it was seen as a major coup.

He came to Arizona and redshirtted his first year. The next year he rarely saw the field and did not have a catch his freshman season. As a sophomore he had eleven catches for 166 yards, but was behind Bobby Wade, Andrae Thurman, Lance Relford and even true freshman Biren Ealy.

He came into spring ball with hopes of establishing himself at the top of the crowded receivers unit and may have done just that. Williams made a number of big plays, including a few touchdowns in various scrimmages.

"I have to make plays," Williams said of his chances to impress the coaches. "That is the biggest thing. If you make plays you will see the field."

All was not rosy for Williams in the spring. Despite having a knack for big plays, he also struggled at times on routine plays. He dropped balls he shouldn't have and was inconsistent at times.

Although he's happy with his progress, he knows he still has some work to do. He is well aware that he has nothing wrapped up. He plans on staying in Tucson to not only improve his own skills, but to help out the young quarterbacks as well.

"We have to work on the timing of these young quarterbacks," Williams said. "Get them in a good rhythm. Hopefully all of the receivers will stay out here and work."

The receivers have been a close-knit group and know that it won't be easy to replace last year's leader Bobby Wade. Although each guy wants to play, they know that their strength lies in numbers.

"We have the situation that we have depth," said Williams. "We have a lot of people who can get a lot of playing time. And we have a lot of experience coming back from last year. Right now we are just competing. We're not into who is going to be No. 1 or No. 2. We're just competing. We're trying to just make plays to help the quarterbacks and make the offense better."

Only time will tell if Williams can look as good on the field as he can in the lobby. If he can continue to make the big plays and gain some consistency, then the junior may very well live up to the hype that he had coming out of high school.

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