Out of the Lab, Onto the Field for AU DB

A report on Auburn defensive back Ryan Williams is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp says he likes what he saw from cornerback Ryan Williams in the collegiate debut of the true freshman from Mobile.

Williams made two solo tackles and two assists in Auburn's 35-7 football victory over Vanderbilt. With injuries depleting the defensive ranks, Williams and linebacker Josh Bynes saw their first action on Saturday.

Williams points out he didn't know until Tuesday afternoon, following a practice that morning, that the defensie coordinator and secondary coach wanted to play him vs. the Commodores.

"Coach Muschamp had called me on Tuesday when I was coming out of my biology lab and asked, ‘How do you feel about stepping out on the field making plays and contributing to the team?' I said, ‘Of course, I would like to do it,' but deep in my mind I was like, ‘I don't know if I should do it.' I was kind of skeptical because l have done the redshirt workouts trying to get stronger and I didn't know if I was ready.

"As the week went on, I got into the game plan and got into the playbook and started gaining confidence and started making plays on the field," Williams says. "I was like, ‘I can do it.' I told them, ‘Take my redshirt.'"

With cornerback Jerraud Powers preparing to play at safety at needed to bolster depth there, Muschamp decided that more depth is also needed at cornerback. Williams is his pick to be the guy to provide it. He was in for 21 snaps vs. Vanderbilt.

"I just played the way I played back home," the former B.C. Rain star says. "When I stepped out on the field, I tried to play tough and have that swagger about myself even though it was my first time to play in college.

Ryan Williams is shown at practice.

"I was a little bit nervous, but after I got that first contact I told myself it was just like high school--same size of field with the same amount of people on the field."

Williams notes that he was surprised at how much action he got. "I had a lot of playing time on Saturday," he says. "It was all good and it was more than I expected. It was a real blessing. I feel real good about how much time I played and I think it is going to get better."

Williams and the rest of the secondary did a good job of frustrating the Vandy receivers and quarterbacks. They connected for just 12 completions on 31 pass attempts and Vandy star Earl Bennett was held in check, too. "I think I covered him once," Williams says. "He is a big receiver, who is real good. We game-planned him real well. We held him to four catches, but he is a good receiver. I will give him his props."

Next on the agenda for Williams and the Tigers is a Saturday evening road test at Arkansas. Kickoff time is 6:45 p.m. Central from Razorback Stadium and the game will be televised by ESPN.

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