Sophomore Linebacker On The Road Back

Antarrious Williams discusses his recovery from a fall injury and what he's looking for out of Saturday's scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.--The linebacker position has been one of concern this fall for the Auburn Tigers as starters Dontarrious Thomas, Karlos Dansby and Travis Williams have all missed time because of minor injuries. That has also been the case for sophomore Antarrious Williams, who broke a bone on top of his left hand last week in practice. It hasn't kept him from doing his job though as he's back at practice and working harder than ever despite wearing a club on his hand to protect the injury.

If that wasn't enough, Williams is also returning from a severe knee injury suffered against Penn State in the Citrus Bowl in January. Working to get back into football shape as well as strengthen his knee, the Columbus, Ga. native has been a positive influence on his teammates with his desire and effort in the offseason.

Williams takes instruction from position Coach Joe Whitt during Friday's walk-through.

After returning to practice earlier in the week following the hand injury, Williams got a chance to show the coaches he was ready on Wednesday when the team took part in a 50-play scrimmage. Making plays from sideline to sideline and showing that he can get the job done when not completely healthy, Williams said it was fun for him to get back into full contact once again.

"It felt real good," Williams said. "It gave me the opportunity to get out and get a lot of reps because Travis (Travis Williams) didn't practice and Karlos (Karlos Dansby) only got a few reps. It was a great opportunity for me to go out there and show what I could do even though I had the club and couldn't really grab with it. I still could fit in the proper place."

Williams and his defensive teammates get a chance to measure themselves fully Saturday morning when the Tigers hold a 150-play scrimmage that will feature very little work from the starters on either side of the ball. Knowing that this could mean the difference between winning and losing games down the stretch, Williams said the young guys will feel things step up to a different level on Saturday.

"It's good for the young guys because we need everybody, especially at linebacker," Williams said. "People get bruised and hurt. We need everybody. By them getting out there and getting the opportunity to get some reps that helps the team out."

One thing that should help get everyone ready quicker than normal is that they get to face one of the most talented offenses they will see all year everyday in practice. With running backs coming at them in waves and a confident quarterback, Williams said they should be ready for anything after playing against his offensive counterparts.

"Since they have four good backs it helps us out as far as fitting and tackling," Williams said. "I don't know another team that has four good backs like we do. In the past six months Jason (Jason Campbell) has also become a better leader and is stronger at what he is doing. He's leading us to where we need to go."

The Tiger coaching staff will get to see exactly where their team is to this point with the Saturday scrimmage and spent Friday afternoon in a walk-through similar to Friday practices during the season. Polishing the game plan of what they will run on both offense and defense, the offense and defense split into separate units and didn't do any team work during the one-hour practice. The punt team also did a short walk-through to simulate some of the live punt work to be done in the scrimmage.

Saturday's scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, but could be moved to the intramural fields if there is rain in the morning. The scrimmage is open to the public and all fans should enter through gate 8 at the stadium.

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