He's the 6-3, 230-pound freshman linebacker from Jacksonville who passes the look test -- he's big, strong and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds. More importantly, he passes the attitude test.
Williams, who went into spring practice No. 2 at middle linebacker, was grayshirted last season. He came to Kentucky and worked out on his own. However, he also attended every practice along with Mikhail Mabry, another grayshirt linebacker. "I just had to observe, see what I was getting into and see what I needed to bring to the team," Williams said. "Last year they were not intense enough. I like to have fun in practice. I figure I can bring that and intensity to this team."
He likes to go non-stop. He says his forte will be making tackles from sideline to sideline. "I just want the chance to chase somebody down and hit them in the mouth," Williams said. "I want to make tackles for losses, not tackles eight yards down the field. You have to make plays at the line, not down the field."
That's why he's willing to run after practice on his own. "I have to stay in shape so I can run hard every play during a game," Williams said. "When I think I get tired in practice, I run extra. I don't ever want to get tired in a game."
If he sounds too good to be true, he might be. He was a second-team Class AAAAA all-state defensive end in 2003 after missing the 2002 season because of a knee injury. He says Florida "backed off" him after his injury and that Georgia Tech and Clemson were kind of "shaky" with their scholarship offers.
"Kentucky stuck with me all the way. When Kentucky offered, I committed," Williams said. "Now I just want to be the best I can be."
So if you are looking for a reason to be optimistic about next season, remember the name Johnny Williams because he's a player who just makes you believe he can make a difference.