That was the message the Clemson coaches had for Williams when he was courted by some of college football's top programs. And it's why Clemson wanted him to play the 9-position that Hopkins occupied in each of the last two seasons.
Thus far through preseason camp, Williams has been more than adequate as
the backup to Martavis Bryant, who will start at the 9-position this fall.
Much like he's done over the last few weeks, Williams flashed during
Saturday's stadium scrimmage, pulling down three catches for 111 yards and
His score was a 50-yard hookup with Nick Schuessler.
"[Williams'] kind of like a taller Nuk Hopkins, similar skill set, as far
as his ability to catch the football in awkward situations, high pointing
the ball," Swinney said. "Hopefully, he'll develop like Nuk did. When Nuk
came in here as a freshman, very similar in a lot of ways, except Mike is
just bigger. Mike's just a lot bigger than Nuk was."
An instate guy like Hopkins, Williams was a four-star prospect at Lake
Marion High School. As a senior, he caught 60 passes for 1,395 yards and
10 touchdowns. During his junior season, he hauled in 66 receptions for
1,296 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Before each of those two seasons, Williams spent time in Clemson for
"Raw, great ball skills, long, lanky, great body control," Swinney said,
when asked about his first impression of Williams. "He hasn't
disappointed. Since then, he's gotten stronger and faster, more knowledge
and all that kind of stuff."
Chad Morris saw the same kinds of things from Williams during that
camp session back in June of 2011.
"He's a guy that goes up and gets the ball. The ball's in there,
uncontested, he's going to come down with it. That's what really excited
me about him," Morris said. "He wasn't, maybe not quite knock the led off
of it, speed-wise. He's got really good speed."
Tajh Boyd certainly doesn't mind having another weapon in his arsenal of
"Mike has been playing really well," Boyd said. "He can go get it, go get
the ball. He's starting to understand why we run certain plays and why
he's running his route to this particular point. He's really grasping it."
Just imagine how much better Williams will be a year from now, two years
"He's in a great spot right now, physically," Swinney said. "Where he's
going to be two years from now, that kid is going to be special. He's just
going to be more explosive, stronger, take what he's got and get even
On Aug. 31, everyone else will get to see exactly where Williams is
‘He's going to help us'
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