Williams Quickly Found A Home At LB

Chris Williams loved carrying the football. So at the start of his sophomore year, when his Abilene High coaches told him he'd be moving to linebacker, the kid with visions of being the star running back was very angry.

But it ended up being the right move.

"That first day in practice, I had a lot of anger to get out of me, and I was just making plays and hearing our defensive coordinator scream, we finally got a linebacker," Chris Williams explained. "That was good to know, coming from one of the top assistants in the country."

Williams went on to make 149 tackles and 10 sacks in his first varsity season, and impressed Texas Tech enough to receive a verbal offer that season.

"I didn't want to play defense at all," he said. "I played it freshman year because you had to play both ways, and I was really upset. But now I love it and I wouldn't go back."

College programs don't want Williams to go back either.

Besides Texas Tech, Arizona and Baylor have also offered a scholarship to the class of 2009 Scout.com top-100 player. Named the state's Class 5-A Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press this past season, the hair over 6-foot, 230-pound Williams is also receiving personal contact from Oklahoma, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas.

Notre Dame invited Williams to its Feb. 24th junior day, and send mail to him on a daily basis.

"I don't think I'm going to be able to make it up there," he said.

At this point in the recruiting process, Williams is open to everyone, and has Notre Dame on his radar.

"I know year in and year out they're contending for the National Championship," Williams said. "They're in the race every year. They're a good program. Charlie Weis!"

This past fall as a marked man, Williams had roughly 90 tackles, with around 30 of those coming for loss, including 15 sacks. Abilene went 13-2 and advanced to the state semifinals.

"He's got all the natural physical tools," head coach Stephen Warren said. "He's big and strong and really fast for a big guy. For me as a coach, he may be the most instinctive linebacker I've ever coached. He has a knack of knowing where the ball is, and when he gets there he delivers a lot of punch. He's enthusiastic. He's fired up. He brings that every play on defense."

"Just game changing, and having the ability to change the flow of the game when the ball is snapped," Williams said of his talent. "I have the natural instinct to just know what's going on. I don't know what it is, but it's just something about getting to the football."

Williams said his tackle numbers were also down this year because the team's former special teams standout, senior Chris Mitchell lined up next to him at the other inside linebacker position.

"The other inside linebacker we had was amazing," Williams stated. "He was better than me. I wouldn't of got all my recognition if it wasn't for him. He was Second Team All-District and I got All-State and All-District. He just worked hard. He wasn't big. He was quick. He had long hair and looked like A.J. Hawk out there. I'm going to miss him next year, but my numbers should be good next year. But I'll take half the numbers, if I have a good guy like that every year next to me."

Distance won't be a problem for Williams as he ponders his college decision. His older sister went away to school at Temple on a volleyball scholarship. He also thinks he will take all five of his official visits before making a decision.

"I'm looking for a good education, and a good environment around the school," Williams said. He has a 83 percent core grade average.

Williams reported a bench press of 345 pounds, and a squat of 550. He last ran a timed 40-yard dash awhile back in 4.52 seconds. He has set his sights on being the A.P. Defensive Player of the Year again, but Williams thinks it could've worked out for him at running back as well.

"I know I definitely could be good at it considering Brandon Jacobs just won a Super Bowl and he is pretty good," Williams said. "I've been so blessed to be athletic. I'd play anywhere coach would want me to."

Doubtful there will be a position change for Williams next fall.

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