Coach Speak: Josh Williams

The changes in the staff became harder to swallow with every, passing decommit. One that particularly got people disappointed was the loss of Josh Williams to Colorado. The 6-foot-4.5 and 225-pound Williams from Denton (Texas) Ryan was a player that Nebraska simply didn't have a player that was like him on their current roster. Nebraska came up big and got Williams back in the class.

If there was a need in this class for Nebraska, it was a "pin your ears back and get the quarterback, defensive end". Josh Williams is exactly that, and then some. Head Coach Joey Florence has had some exceptional players to compare Williams to in his coaching history at Denton (Texas) Ryan.

"Josh plays hard every down," Head Coach Joey Florence. "He was definitely our leader on the field this year. When Josh was playing well, of course, we were playing well.

"He was a leader, not necessarily by his words, but by his actions and the kids responded well to him and followed him. He had a very good senior year."

Sometimes, a defensive end can be neutralized. Offenses make game plans around great defensive players. Obviously, teams were doing that with Williams, but Williams still made his mark, more in some games than others, but Williams is a dominant player overall.

"He's a very good football player and dependent on what the opponent was trying to do he was more effective in some games than others. He's an exceptional pass rusher and some games he was able to take over.

"Some games, he was able to come out and take over a game, take over a half. He's a dominant player. I think that he put a lot of pressure on opposing offenses to take him into consideration."

Coach's observations are great. They are as honest as you are going to get and Coach Florence says that there are some things that Williams has going for him and against him. The good news is that the biggest thing going against Williams is something that Williams has managed very well thus far.

"He's obviously going to have to get bigger. He's a tall, rangy kid. He's got a tremendous work ethic. I think that he went from a division one player to an elite division one player because of his hard work in the weight room last spring and summer.

"I think that if Josh is going to continue to work hard on and off the field that he can be a dominant player. He's 225 right now so he's going to have to get thicker. His best qualities right now are his ranginess and his ability to get the quarterback. He has the speed and the reach you want in a defensive end."

Denton Ryan is a powerhouse in 4A football in Texas. They have turned out division one talent over and over again. Recently though, Coach Florence has had a chance to compare where Williams is at to where a couple of former Ryan defensive ends were at and where they are at now.

"Josh is heavier than Jarvis Moss was at this point in their careers. There is also Brian Smith who is the all-time sack leader at Missouri. I think that both Brian and Jarvis were a little faster than Josh.

"Josh is definitely from the same mold, meaning that they are all taller and rangier. He is a good pass rusher in his own right, but to be fair, Jarvis Moss and Brian Smith were just phenomenal. That is why they were both drafted this past year. Josh can do some things they couldn't either and is a bit more physical."

Coach Florence was definitely by Josh through the coaching changes at Nebraska. Coach Florence had a bird's eye view of what was going on in front of the curtain and behind it. To him, the transition was handled very well by the coaches on their way out and the coaches on their way in.

"I thought it was. I thought Coach Bill Callahan was exceptional throughout the entire process. I think that once he knew that he wasn't coming back that he reiterated how much he wanted Josh.

"He was very kind and wanted Josh to know what was going on. You have to remember, Josh committed to Nebraska way back in June of last year. I will always appreciate the way that Bill Callahan handled things.

"Of course, Bo Pelini took over and we already knew Bo. Josh always wanted to go to Nebraska so that worked out well. Personally, Coach Callahan will always have my respect for how he treated Josh and Josh always had a good feeling about Nebraska with what Bill was telling him."

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