Williams Hoping To Catch On

The Ohio State receiving corps is incredibly youthful and Stan Drayton isn't shy to admit he is looking for play makers to step in and seize the job. For Williams, he sports all the tools needed to find the field, but one weakness is holding him back.

Former wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell didn't make a habit of gushing over youthful players during his time at Ohio State.

He didn't seem to mind to make an exception for T.Y. Williams.

"He is going to be spectacular, spectacular... maybe one of the best guys to come out of here," said Hazell, now the head coach at Kent State, in Aug. of 2010. "I really believe that and I have never seen a 6-5 guy drop his hips and change directions like that. He plays at 6-5 and he doesn't play at 6-2 and he can run."

Perhaps it was Williams' immense size that got Hazell excited about the prospects of his future, specifically because he sported height that is typically unmatched by players in opposing defensive backfields while not sacrificing the athleticism needed to make plays.

Listed as 6-5, 228 pounds on Ohio State's official roster, there's some debate as to whether he's even taller. When Hazell spoke about Williams he referred to him as 6-7, while current wide receivers coach Stan Drayton implied he was 6-6.

Regardless, it isn't too good to be true that Ohio State has a tall option that could turn into one of their biggest weapons, specifically in red zone opportunities.

"They exist, and we have one," Drayton said of receivers sporting Williams' size. "Ask the quarterbacks how they feel about having a guy like that, he's an easy target."

True to Drayton's words, Williams was an easy target during fall camp for the inexperienced quarterbacks looking to make a difference in Ohio State's talented, yet raw offense.

Williams didn't struggle with getting open against the team's physical defensive backs. However, Williams did have one key struggle that he must get over if he plans on finding the field in his redshirt freshman season — the dropsies.

"For TY he understands if you're going to play receiver you're going to have to catch the football," Drayton said. "When you're 6-5 you have to catch the ball a little differently and more in traffic than some of those smaller guys.

"He understands I expect him to use his frame. I expect him to catch the ball in traffic. I expect him to catch the ball clean every single time. Is he there yet? No. Is he working on it? Absolutely."

Williams could be spotted before and after practice working on the team's Jugs passing machine — a drill that rapidly fires out passes at an incredibly fast rate to help receivers tighten up their hands.

The receiver frequently bobbles passes that are in his realm, typically when other defenders are in the area. To Williams, he thinks it is more about concentrating on the ball than it is an inability to secure it with his hands.

"I need to work on my concentration when the ball gets close to me," Williams admitted at the team's media day last weekend. "Sometimes I take my eye off of it or get distracted by the things around me. I am working on it."

To Drayton, Williams is still a work in progress. But when the work is complete, the big target may be a special threat for the Buckeyes. For now, the wide receivers coach is training Williams to use his body as leverage against the defenders during his route running.

When Williams — who caught a long touchdown pass on a fly route in Ohio State's spring game — learns to hold onto the football, Drayton expects big things out of his youthful target that oozes big play potential.

"We are going to make him use his frame. That's his game and he understands that," Drayton said. "He needs to be a red zone threat for us, he needs to be able to catch the ball in traffic.

"We just have to get him everything doing the right thing all the time and once he figures that part of that out he is going to be special."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for Buckeye Sports Bulletin. He can be reached at AWasserman@BuckeyeSports.com. Follow Me on Twitter and find us on Facebook.


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