Bigger, Faster, Stronger

Ian Williams played in all twelve of last year's games, starting two. His 45 tackles were sixth on the team. The top five tacklers were full time starters. "Ian, production wise for the volume of plays that he played, was one of the best players on our entire defense last year for the number of played for his production, was one of the best," said Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis.

Williams was less impressed with himself. "I need to get better at everything," he said.

Defensive Coordinator Corwin Brown agreed that there is plenty of room to improve. "He needs to continue to build. He can't get complacent, especially a young guy," said Brown.

Weis is on board, as well. "Now, let's see if we can't do that for the whole season as a full time player because this is his opportunity."

Williams was determined "to get bigger, to get stronger, to get faster" over the winter. "Those were the three things that I wanted to do," he said. "My weight's above 300 now and I'm feeling a lot better."

Now Williams wants to build on his experience. "I had to grow up quickly. It will make me better this year in the spring because I know what the expectations are and what I need to do to get better."

His teammates will help him. Williams cited Eric Olsen and Dan Wenger as players who fight him tooth and nail in practice. "They make it easier in the games," he said.

When they talk about ways to improve, mental toughness is near the top of the players' list. "If a team's getting up on us we need to fight back."

Adjusting to school and northern winters is also part of the Florida native's growing process. "Let's just say it took a lot of getting used to," said Williams. "I walked out sometimes and it would go right through the jacket." In spite of the cold, Williams is happy with his decision to come to South Bend. "I'm happy with my decision. I did what I wanted to do. I wanted to come in and contribute."

Is Williams is excited to start hitting again? "Not with no pads on," he laughed. "But I'm happy to get back in the swing of things." Top Stories