"Everybody has been getting their feet wet," said Williams. "We're all excited to be back out here and getting ready for a new season. It's all about fundamentals right now. We're a little rusty with our alignments and steps, but it's coming along."
Arguably the biggest storyline for NC State has been star quarterback Russell Wilson's decision to focus on baseball. Redshirt sophomore Mike Glennon is receiving nearly all of the reps with Wilson, the Wolfpack's starter at the position and one of the top quarterbacks in the country, playing just baseball this spring.
"It's a great opportunity for Mike," said Williams. "He's our star player right now... especially with Russell out. I don't know what Russell's going to do, but we're with him regardless. We're glad Mike Glennon is getting his reps in to be our future star quarterback."
Glennon redshirted in 2008 after competing for the starting job and played sparingly as a redshirt freshman last fall. Glennon played in seven games, and he completed 24-of-39 passes for 248 yards with one touchdown pass and two interceptions.
When NC State hits the practice field Glennon receives all of the repetitions with the starting unit, and Williams says he and the other starters are confident that Glennon can get the job done.
"We're really confident in him," he stated. "Mike is getting his reps in after playing some last year, and we know what he's capable of doing. We know he's having a good spring, and he will have a good summer and fall camp. No doubt in my mind... he'll be ready for next season."
Checking in at 6-foot-6 and 217 pounds with a quick release and extremely strong arm, Glennon has all the physical tools you look for in a quarterback. However, it is the strides he has made in the other areas of the game that has impressed Williams.
"Mike's a lot more confident," said Williams. "He's also playing a lot faster on the field. Last year he was picking his spots but would sometimes 'eye' guys. Now his vision has been really, really good, and he is seeing the whole field.
"I think it's from being a lot more comfortable with the offense and the speed of the game. He just throws it to whoever is open."
Whoever is at quarterback for NC State in 2010 will have a plenty of weapons around him. Starting tight end George Bryan was first-team All-ACC in 2009, and he returns for his redshirt junior season.
Also NC State brings back every scholarship receiver including starters Owen Spencer and Williams. Spencer burst on the scene in 2008 when he finished the season ranked seventh in the ACC in receiving yards per game with 53.2 and averaged 22.3 yards per catch... a new ACC and Wolfpack single-season record. The record wouldn't stand long as he broke his own mark last fall when he caught 30 balls for 765 yards, an average of 25.5 yards per catch which led the country. Spencer and Williams might headline the receiving corps, but the position overall might be the best group on NC State's team.
"We're just out here trying to push each other and make us better," Williams said of the receivers. "We aim to be the best receiving group in the conference and the best in the nation. If we play like we're capable of then we can do a lot of great things on offense next year."
It all begins with Williams and Spencer. Spencer runs terrific routes and is extremely fast, and he is the perfect complement to Williams. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Williams is a big, physical receiver who excels in the redzone. He had a breakout year in 2009 when he caught 45 balls for 547 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 11 touchdown receptions led the Atlantic Coast Conference and tied him with Torry Holt (1998) for the third-most by a Wolfpack player in a single season.
"That was a nice minor accomplishment," Williams said of leading the ACC in touchdown grabs. "I thought the line did a great job and Russell found me open. Some of them were on broken plays where he found me, and I'm thankful I caught the ball.
"I'm looking forward to trying to lead again and hopefully lead the nation. I'm looking for a big season. If I play well, my best, it can help us win a lot of games."
Williams knows he can continue to grow as a player, and the spring is the perfect time to put in the work and improve his game.
"I still want to work on being more consistent catching the ball and being more explosive out of my routes," he said. "I also want to be a more aggressive player."