Texas' Williams Set For Banner Fall

Kansas City, MO -- With an offense breaking in first-year starting quarterback Chance Mock and getting just two linemen back from 2002, Texas needed wide receiver Roy Williams just as much as he needed the Longhorns. The two will be together for a fourth and final year in 2003, as the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder opted to remain and college and spurn professional football for one more season.

Roy Williams, a first-team All-American who has 171 career catches for 2,787 yards and 27 touchdowns to place him among the conference's most elite receivers in history, says he actually didn't put much thought into turning pro.

"There were a bunch of reasons why I came back," said Williams at Wednesday's Big 12 Media Days in Kansas City. "I love my teammates and the city of Austin. It's tough to leave guys that you've played with for three or four years. I didn't think I was quite ready for the NFL. I want to try to be the best player in college football."

In the meantime, Williams is getting the most out of his college years and has even moved back into the dorms in Austin. Wherever he is, head coach Mack Brown is happy he's still on the roster.

"We've talked about it over the years, because he was a special player when he got there," said Brown. "So we knew it would come down to a decision if he stayed healthy enough. But he never wanted to go. He was a guy that said when he got here that he wanted to be here four years. He's on track to finish school by next year if he stays on track. He said he needed to learn how to live by himself more, so he moved back into the dorms. He is a different guy."

Williams and fellow prolific receiver B.J. Johnson figure to play key roles in the development of Mock, who has just 10 career games under his belt in three seasons while performing mop-up duty. Mock has passed for 65 yards over his career, completing 6-of-9 passes for one touchdown.

Brown has afforded Mock the luxury of being eased into the starting job in Austin, getting him plenty of seasoning behind the likes of Simms for three seasons and Applewhite over his first two campaigns. That also eases the pressure on Texas' 21-year old rookie starter.

"I think there are expectations of Chance, but they're not the same and are more like they were for Major coming in than they were Chris," Brown said. "Chance is very comfortable after three years of watching both for of them. Major is a graduate assistant helping with the offensive line, and has been very helpful to the other quarterbacks."

Team notes

The Longhorns hope to be a healthier team in 2003 after injuries cost 15 starters playing time over the course of last fall. All of the setbacks also made Brown realize that he must get each of the players of his two-deep ready for competition. He'd like to substitute through his top two groups when between the 20-yard lines, while going mostly with his first-team inside the 20 and goal-line.

Finishing more games has become a focal point for the Longhorns after losing their only games of the season to South Division rivals Oklahoma and Texas Tech in which they led or were knotted at halftime.

Brown outlined some concerns for this team. UT is losing three starting offensive linemen, including Robbie Doane and Derrick Dockery. The ‘Horns will start a quarterback with no starting experience and depend on a pair of backups that have never hit the field. The defensive end position was depleted last season by injuries and will be without the services of NFL draft pick Cory Redding this fall. Brown also indicated his linebacking corps will be full of young starters and inexperienced backups.

(CN would like to thank The Nest Bar & Grill in Johnston for sponsoring our coverage from Kansas City. CN & The Nest would like to invite you to join us on Wednesday, August 27th for our 2003 preseason tailgate party. Stay tuned to CN and 1460-KXNO for more details)

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