Quiet Williams Hits Hard

SAN ANTONIO - West receivers, go over the middle of the field at practice at your own risk. Michael Williams is licking his chomps, ready to lay some wood.

The 5-foot-10, 187-pound defensive back has been praised for his physical play at safety during West practices in preparation for the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.

"We told him to tone it down because the receivers have been coming across the middle catching the ball, and obviously we don't want to get anybody hurt," said defensive backs coach Steve Dean, who coaches at Ada High in Oklahoma. "But he's bringing it."

Williams has also looked valuable in goal-line defense, attacking the line of scrimmage, and has gotten a look as a kick returner.

"I just try to go 110 percent every play," he said. "If you don't go hard you get hurt."

Williams is a quiet kid, and he's not saying much about his college decision. The St. Bonaventure (Calif.) standout who is playing for his high school coach in this game, will announce his decision Saturday between Notre Dame and Michigan. Williams said his parents arrived on Thursday and he needed to finalize some details.

Even before that, Williams was a strong lean to one of those schools and said he has leaked the information to a couple of guys in San Antonio, but he hasn't been bothered much by the committed players.

"Everyone has been real cool about it."

Williams has been working at free safety instead of the strong safety he played in high school. Dean said you can't tell it's a new position for him.

"He's very very smart," Dean stated. "We're kind of limited by what coverages we can run in this game by rules, but the guy is very flexible. He has bumped out and is learning to play some man-to-man at corner and that's an attribute to his flexibility and knowledge of the game."

"It's basically the same coverages," Williams said.

Williams has been wowed by the type of collective talent on his West team.

"It's real competitive, I can't wait for the game," Williams said. "I think everybody is pumped up and kind of tired but ready to go."

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