Leon Williams Likes Energy on Defense

Linebacker Leon Williams enters his final season as a Hurricane and is excited about the way the defense is playing after four practices. Last year Williams made 56 tackles including eight tackles for loss.

Today at practice the defense dominated against the run and the pass. Guys were enjoying themselves and seemed to play with an extra energy.

"We got after it today," Williams said. "It was our first day back from spring break and we wanted to start it off fast. Everyone went full speed today."

Leon Williams believes that the individuals on the defense are concentrating on doing their job each and every play. At times last year the defense would be out of position.

"We always tell everybody to just do their jobs," Williams said. "That is the thing we have to worry about and then just go play. We can't think about mistakes and if you do have a mistake, then just go full speed."

Playing at a full speed is not an option any longer. The defense must be at full speed and it is understood by everyone.

"Now we don't have to tell anyone to go full speed," Williams said. "It is mandatory now."

Four days into spring practices and the defense has done well thus far. Today was a great step in the right direction of where they want to be, but there is still work to be done.

"Everyone on defense is running around playing together," Williams said. "Everyone is playing with a lot of energy and playing Miami football. We are taking it one day at a time."

Williams is one of two senior linebackers--Roger McIntosh is the other. There are currently nine linebackers on the roster and six of them started at some point last year. They are a close group despite the competition.

"It is a real tight group," Williams said. "We were young last year and we are still young as a group this year. We are even tighter this year."

Leon is fully aware that he this is his final year at Miami and wants to go out on a high note. Althought it is hard work at practice, he is enjoying it.

"I am feeling great out here," Williams said. "This is my last year and I am having fun with all of the guys."

One thing he is doing is teaching the younger linebackers how to do certain things. His leadership skills often go unnoticed, but he does try to help out when he can.

"It is good being around the younger guys and showing them how it is done," Williams said.

One reason why he is able to teach the younger guys is his maturity over the years. He has learned a lot throughout his time at Miami and has noticed a difference in his mentality since he arrived on campus in 2001.

"I think I have matured a lot since I came in as a freshman," Williams said. "I have learned to be able to play with everyone and what it takes to be a linebacker."

His maturity is shown in his mentality with the team concept.

"Not one man will get the job done," Williams said. "All of us have to play together to be good. Once we realize that and that everyone wants to be good while playing together."

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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