Click here to see senior highlights of Tre Williams versus Vigor.
Mobile, Ala.--Five-star linebacker Tre Williams and the St. Paul's Saints (9-2) earned a win last Friday night over a tough Demopolis team to advance to the second round of the Alabama Class 5A football playoffs. This Friday night Williams and company will take to the road to face off against 10-1 Benjamin Russell in Alexander City. Williams discusses his season, his commitment, Auburn and much more in this interview with Inside the Auburn Tigers.
ITAT: Talk about the big win last Friday night over Demopolis
Williams: It was a really big win. We get to stay in the playoffs and have another shot at the next round and get closer to the championship. We started off pretty slow, but we never gave up. At halftime we had a couple of speeches said and in the second half we came together as a team and it really showed.
ITAT: Talk about your season and where you've made the most improvements individually
Williams: I have always been a team player, but this year that has grown. I'm even more a team player now. Trusting my teammates is one of the things I kind of had a problem with. Now I finally get to turn it loose and let my teammates be themselves. When we all come together it's just great.
"I had to learn that the hard way. I actually learned it last year that I needed to start trusting guys more, and I did. Once that happened we came together as one. When we come together as a team we're unstoppable. That's how we started the second half Friday night.
"As for myself I have gotten faster and quicker on my feet. My reaction time is much faster. I'm making more tackles, too.
ITAT: How many tackles did you have Friday night? For the year?
Williams: I had 17 tackles last week. I really don't know what I have for the year, but in the past four or five games I have had over 10 tackles.
ITAT: You talked about being faster and quicker, how big are you?
Williams: I'm 6-3, 230 right now.
ITAT: How special is it to be included in the Under Armour All-American Game?
Williams: It has been a great time. The smile on my face won't leave. It's just a blessing to have the opportunity to be in that position. It humbled me a lot. It really shows me where I'm at in life work-wise. Most of the time I'm only looking at the things I have done wrong so I can fix them. This really shows me everything I have done right. That really gives me a heads-up on where I'm going and that I'm headed the right way.
ITAT: Excited to be playing with and against the best of the best in the game?
Williams: Everybody in this game is going to be a great player. No one in this game can be underestimated. They are all a four or five-star and will hit you no matter what. It will be a great experience and will of course get me ready for college. In college nobody is slow. Nobody is too small. That will really help me prepare and show me what I need to do in order to get even more ready for college.
ITAT: Talk about Auburn's 9-1 start. What has it shown you?
Williams: It's just the fact that they lived up to their word. Coach (Gus) Malzahn came in and said ‘we're going to turn things around' and they did. The team stuck to that ever since day one. You see that every game. They get better and better every game. From last year to this year you see that huge turnaround. That's how we're able to get recruits in and that's how we're able to get more commits. They see that in the future Auburn is going to be the top thing, but it's going to need our help. That's the thing me and the other commits were talking about.
Tre Williams announced in May he will sign with the Tigers.
ITAT: Auburn needs help at the linebacker position. Having the chance to play early must be exciting
Williams: It really is exciting. That was the big worry in high school for me and getting closer to playing college football. I was talking to Coach (Dameyune) Craig one day and he told me just to play football and that the only thing different was the speed of the game. He said I'm going to have the right size and have the right mindset--all I have to do is play football. I was thinking about it one day and realized he was right. If I go out there being scared then I'm going to get hurt or embarrassed. I'm going out with confidence because I know the team is going to have my back. That includes the 11 on the other side of the ball and thousands of fans. Auburn really helped me getting my mindset ready for college and then they'll get me physically ready."
ITAT: Has watching Auburn's progression excited you even more about your commitment?
Williams: That really lets me know I made the right decision. I kind of second-guessed myself after I committed wondering if it was really the place I wanted to be, but once they started playing I knew that God really led me the right way. I just stuck to it. I told coach Craig "y'all got me here and you recruited me hard and told me this was going to happen. Since y'all gave me your word then I'm going to give you mine." That's how it happened."