While losing seven starters on defense presents problems of
its own, the
However, it doesn't take too long in visiting with Williams to realize how serious he is about his senior campaign and a defensive secondary that's trying to find its identity.
"I see everyone coming in competitive and working hard," he said. "Everyone has been practicing and accountable for themselves. That's what Coach Snyder talks about, being accountable for yourself. We came so close last season and had a team worthy of competing for a national championship."
Williams, who came to K-State last season from Garden City Community College, didn't even get into full-stride until the fifth game last season when he started for the first time.
"I'm more comfortable, times eight," Williams said. "This spring and summer is a reflection of how much more comfortable I am. I've been trying to increase every part of my game to be that more complete player."
And that's exactly what defensive coordinator Bob Elliott is
counting on out of Williams, who had five interceptions last season, including
"Cedric has a great attitude right now and he had a great attitude last season," he said. "But we need to keep that attitude where it is right now. If he's hungry and focused on everything that we're doing, he can be as good as anyone in this country. My job is to make sure he does stay focused.
"But I see a lot more out of him this camp," he added. "He's leading a lot more now, but he wasn't in position to that last year and now he is. I see him doing things like staying after practice with some of these young guys to work on technique. He's looking out for others little bit more now. Last year, he was just trying to survive, learn what to do."
Two Wildcats that might be in the "survival" mode this
season are David Rose and Louis Lavender, who are vying for the other cornerback
position, opposite Williams. Lavender started two games last season and
recorded his only interception against
"David Rose and Louis Lavender have been for a long time," he said. Those are the guys that coaches root for. They've been here their entire careers doing everything right, on and off the field, unselfish attitudes. And now you have to hope those guys can have good senior years. We're pulling for them."
Rose himself though, who said this is most depth he's seen in the secondary, doesn't feel comfortable with his own performance so far this camp.
"There's so much competition going for this one spot," he said. "It's still up for grabs and nobody's spot is safe. Everyone is out to get it so I have to keep playing hard, working hard, and show I can do every single day. In no way am I comfortable where I am right now."
It appears to be a done deal at free safety with Tetuan, who enters his junior season for the Cats. Sophomore Maurice Mack is listed on the two-deep behind him.
But don't forget about the four junior college transfers from last season's recruiting class, Maurice Porter, Brett Jones, Surrell Davis, and Kyle Williams. All four could make impacts on this team. Porter enters the fall behind Cedrick Williams at corner.
Elliott said Kyle Williams might follow the same route as
Cedrick Williams when he first arrived in
"He just got here," he said. "He's got to learn our defense. Once he learns the defense, there is no question he some real good ability. We'll be counting on him. How fast that is? I don't know. It just depends on how fast he picks everything up. It's a lot like what Cedrick went through last season when he got here. It's a lot to be thrown at one person."