Williams Driven To Succeed

Auburn commitment Darrell Williams talks leadership, his commitment to the Tigers, and the goal of another title this fall.

Hoover, Ala.--One thing that Auburn commitment Darrell Williams will understand when he arrives to play for the Tigers in 2015 is how to win games. Part of a Hoover program going for its third consecutive state championship, the four-star linebacker knows all about the pressure of performing on the big stage.

Driven to succeed, Williams is one of the leaders for the Bucs as they prepared to get the 2014 preseason underway. Opening the season at home on ESPN Aug. 23 against Miami-Central, he said it’s important to get the most out of the practices heading into the season with such a challenging opponent to start things off.

“It’s important because it’s an aspect of life,” Williams said. “When you’re working out here in workouts or in the weight room or on the field for drills you’re doing it your hardest. Good is never enough though. You can always do better. That’s our motto. We have to get the young guys to understand that.”

That’s one of the jobs for Williams in his leadership role this fall. Playing a key role for Hoover’s defense since his sophomore season, he said now he has to do things a little differently because he’s the veteran of the group.

“When I was a sophomore and junior I was more of a leader by example,” Williams said. “I had guys ahead of me that brought me up and put me under their wings. Now it’s my turn. I have to take what I learned from those guys and see if I can make it better and help out the team do things the way we want to do them at Hoover and win another state championship.”

Williams is an athletic linebacker

That is the same goal as Williams’ future team as the Auburn Tigers will try to become the first repeat SEC Champion since Tennessee in 1997 and 1998. Led by Coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn has put together a coaching staff that has already made an impact on and off the field. That staff is one of the reasons Williams chose to play his college football on the Plains and he said Malzahn in particular was a key for him.

“I just have a connection with Coach Garner, Coach Johnson and Coach Malzahn,” Williams said. “I really like Coach Malzahn and he was one of the biggest impacts on my decision. I like the type of man he is. He’s got a great personality. He doesn’t put any pressure on you, he just makes you feel good.”

Solidly committed to Auburn, Williams said he owes it to himself to continue to talk with teams because in his words “you only get to do this once”. While Oklahoma and several other schools are still trying to sway him he said that having the chance to play close to home so his mom can see the games is huge for him.

With his decision behind him and his focus squarely on finishing off his Hoover career in style, Williams said he’s relieved to have it done and ready to win one more title.

“It has taken off a lot of pressure,” Williams said. “Things have sort of calmed down. I can think more about the team since getting that step out of the way. I just have to keep getting better and focus on our team getting better. We lost a lot of people and we’ve got some new good players. Now we have to get them doing things the way we do things here at Hoover. That’s the focus now.”

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