6-foot-0 / 230 pounds
Long Beach (CA) / Lutheran
Played in all 13 games as a reserve linebacker, making eight tackles on the year including a season best four in the season opener against Elon. He was on the field for a total of 180 snaps. As a sophomore he appeared in all 14 games and make his only career starter against Navy, and playing a total 292 snaps.
A combination of Williams speed and style of play mixed with need necessitated a move from linebacker to defensive in during the spring. Duke is counting on Williams’ speed and closing speed to help generate a pass rush and close down the edge.
He’s definitely undersized as a defensive end, but in 40 career games he’s shown the ability to use speed and strength to chase down opponents. Williams is beginning the season behind starter Kyler Brown - another converted linebacker - in what has been termed the “Devil” position along the defensive line. We’d look for Williams to split time with Brown and find his snap count somewhere between his junior and senior years.
How he ended up in Durham
Williams committed to Duke in May of 2011, becoming the fourth member of the class of 2012. He visited the campus in March of 2011 and from that point forward the Blue Devils were considered the leader for his services.
"I kept thinking about Duke and how they could prepare me for my future. Every time I'd look or think about another school I kept coming back to Duke. In the end I figured it made no sense to not call the coaches and get things sealed up."
"Coach Cutcliffe said he believed I could come in and really be the piece that finally gets them to turn things around and helps them make the post season. He told me I was the guy they believed in. That's always something you like to hear from a head coach."
"Deion is a very good player. He's going to come in around 232 pounds and can really change direction and pursue the ball. He has good speed, and if he was just a few inches taller he'd be considered the prototypical kind of player that the various rating services love.." - Jim Collins
High School Highlights
Three-year letterman at Lutheran under coach Jim Kunau ...recorded 33 tackles and five quarterback sacks in 2011 ... first team all-conference pick following senior campaign ... served as team captain as a senior ... registered 43 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks as a junior ... posted 28 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks in sophomore season ... [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]