Q&A With West Head Coach John Mack

West squad headman John Mack discusses the play of Michael Williams (whom he coached in high school as well), and give his thoughts on Ryan Mallett.

Michael Williams played safety for you at St. Bonaventure and will do so for you on West team as well. However, he has also spent a great deal of time at corner and really acquitted himself well. Can you talk about the type of player he is?

“First of all, he is a great athlete so he can play a lot positions. But he is a great hitter. I don’t know if you got a chance to see any of the 7-on7, but he will bring it. He is a natural safety and that’s a more comfortable position for him, but he will do whatever the team needs to help us win.”

Will he play much corner for you Saturday?

“Probably not. We don’t have great depth at any position, so a lot of our better athletes have to play one position and back up another.”

Projecting him on the next level, do you think corner is a position he can handle or is he definitely a safety.

“There’s no question he can handle it. For me, I like to put guys that are hitters like that closer to the football. You put them at corner and you can run away from them or run inside of them. He doesn’t get his hands on the ball often enough at corner. At safety he has got the opportunity to make more plays. If you’re a playmaker that’s what you want to do.”

You’ve had a number of great players at St. Bonaventure. Where does Michael stack-up against some of the old time greats?

“Mike fits right in there with the Lorenzo Bookers, the Whitney Lewis’…and the guy he is really comparable to is Terrail Lambert who’s at Notre Dame. He is making a lot of plays at safety. Michael and he are very similar players.”

Give us your thoughts on one of your West squad QB’s Ryan Mallett.

“Well, he has got a tremendous arm! Just unbelievable arm strength. The other thing that Ryan has is in his character. He is able to keep things loose, have a lot of fun, but turn it on when they need to work. That’s been really great for us. All Star games are supposed to be fun and Ryan made it a lot of fun for our offense… but with no negatives. A lot of time guys that are jokesters are a pain in the rear. He is not a pain. He is a great kid to coach and is a lot of fun. He knows when to work hard and when he can have fun. I think when he gets to Michigan he’ll do tremendous things. His future is very very bright.”

Sounds like you are highlighting leadership qualities.

“Absolutely. To me that’s one of the most important things that a quarterback can have….that ability to gather guys around and be a leader.”

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