Season Wrap-Up: Phillip Williamson

North Carolina verbal commitment Phillip Williamson enjoyed his first full season playing linebacker.

"It was fun," Williamson said. "There's a lot more contact. Being up there, making tackles, causing havoc – it was great."

Williamson, who was previously used as a safety for Durham (N.C.) Jordan, finished his senior season with 162 tackles and ten forced fumbles.

"I wasn't going up against the little guys anymore," Williamson said. "You're messing with 200-, 300-pounders. Playing safety, I was used to taking on the little guys. But now, I'm trying to tackle running backs while fighting off blockers. It was great."

In the first two games of the season, Williamson started at both linebacker and wide receiver. However, the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder's focus was shifted solely to defense after the opening two contests. In those two starts plus some limited offensive snaps, Williamson threw a touchdown pass on a trick play, had two scoring receptions, and rushed for another score.

In spite of his accomplishments, Jordan went 3-8 and failed to qualify for the NCHSAA playoffs.

Although the decision to move him into the front seven by Jordan's coaching staff was to take advantage of his athletic tool set for the 2011 season, the move prepared Williamson for his UNC career. From the get-go the Tar Heels coaching staff has projected him as a linebacker on the collegiate level.

"I'll now have a better idea of what I'm doing when I get to Carolina," Williamson said.

Williamson has been to all of UNC's home games this season and plans to be in attendance for the season finale against Duke in a couple of Saturdays. When the Tar Heels are playing away, he roots them on from his living room.

"We're going to have a winning season and most of the games we lost, we could have won," Williamson said. "We have a lot of talent on defense. We have to bounce right back from the last loss with two wins."

Williamson was going to take his UNC official visit during homecoming weekend when the Tar Heels played Wake Forest, but the UNC coaching staff talked him into waiting until after the football season.

"They told me after the season I'll be able to sit down with the coaches more, instead of going to the game and them being at the hotel for most of my [official visit]," Williamson said. "Going after the season will help me get a good bond with the coaches."

Although he admittedly thinks about the uncertainty that surrounds the football program – particularly with the coaching staff – Williamson says regardless of what happens he'll sign with UNC in February.

"Coaches come and go, so it's not really a big impact on me," Williamson said. "The alumni are always going to be there. When I graduate, if football doesn't work out, I'll have a great education and the alumni connections to help me get a good job."

With his football's season's premature ending, Williamson will join Jordan's basketball team, which plays its first game in a week. He'll also run track during the spring where he'll be a part of most of Jordan's relay teams.

Phillip Williamson Profile

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