DEMAREE: Trai Williams looks for big O-line year

Trai Williams is a young man from Franklin, Kentucky who came to UK in 2002 as a walk-on and was redshirted that year. He has toiled in the system to the point that he is now a starting guard for the 2005 UK football team. These are the guys that have to be admired.

Did Williams ever expect to be a starting guard on the UK football team? "Yes and no," Williams said, "you all expect the best but at the same time you know your place as a walk-on. They say you're given the same treatment but really you're not. You have to work just that much harder to get the coaches respect."

Williams has gained the respect of offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins. "Trai is a tough son-of-a-gun and will out work anybody," Heggins said.

The evidence of that work has shown through loud and clear since he's been at UK. Just look at the composite weight lifts of bench, clean, and squat. Williams is listed as at 495-pounds on the bench.

What was the origin of the strength he has been able to amass?

"Well I grew up on a farm and every since I was little kid I've always hauled hay, been in tobacco fields and everything like that. I was the strongest guy on my high school and when I came here as a freshman I was up there with many of the upper classmen. Then I progressed on through to where I am now. I lift a lot of weights in high school – most of the time I was out working in the fields rigging hay, chopping tobacco or working in the barns."

What is he benching right now? Williams said: "The last I did it I was around 495. I've been around that for, like a year. I've haven't been able to get over that hump and get over 500. I'm just stuck there."

In 2003 UK lost to Vandy in Nashville 27-17. There was a stretch late in the first quarter or early second when Coach Paul Dunn got perplexed with the offensive line and went with three backups. Williams is one of the three that was inserted to try to get on the scoreboard – Michael Aitcheson and Hayden Lane were the other two. They scored the first touchdown with that lineup mostly on the ground with Arlis Beach doing most of the work carrying the ball.

"The class we came in was pretty slim," Williams said. "People were getting kicked out for grades or this or that. There were only about five or six of us left. We just tried to stick together and we've played together now for, this will be our fourth year. Me and Hayden work well together on the right side and hopefully will work out good this season."

Coach Brooks gave the team a day off Wednesday to get their legs back under them and to get some injured people back on the field.

"We went swimming and that helped out more than anything," Williams said. "It let us get our legs back and he said we came out today (Thursday) and had a real good day." Can Williams swim? "A little bit, I just fooled around." He said being an old country boy he fooled around in the creeks, ponds and streams but he always had a fishing pole with him though.


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