Williams Rehabbing Knee Injury

Redshirt freshman defensive end Ryan Williams suffered a knee injury during Ohio State's bowl practice and is currently in the midst of a long rehab process. Williams is working hard and is determined to play for the Buckeyes in 2006. We caught up with him for more.

Ohio State freshman defensive end Ryan Williams is rehabbing a knee injury with the hopes of playing for the Buckeyes in 2006.

Williams (6-5, 245) suffered the injury during a bowl practice in December.

"It was a torn ACL and MCL," Williams said. "I can definitely relate to what happened to (Cincinnati Bengals quarterback) Carson Palmer. My injury happened during ‘showtime' during our bowl practices before we left."

"Showtime" is a live scrimmage between the young players that takes place at the end of practice.

Williams described how the injury occurred.

"It was just kind of a fluke," he said. "I was coming into a pile and somebody rolled into me."

Williams wasn't the only OSU defensive end seriously injured during bowl practice. Freshman Doug Worthington suffered a similar knee injury.

"Our rehab has been coming along good," Williams said. "Me and Doug have been working hard. We're working out together trying to get stronger and trying to get ready to play this season."

Usually, it takes 12 months to fully recover from a torn ACL. Some even say 18 months. But Williams is not planning on taking another year off.

"Yeah, I'm definitely shooting to make it back this season and get some playing time," he said. "I haven't had the chance to play here yet and I just want a chance to help this team and that's what I'm working hard for right now. I want to contribute this year."

Williams, a native of Mission Viejo, Calif., was one of the top defensive ends in the country in high school. He didn't put up great stats on the prep level (4 sacks as a senior; 75 tackles, 6 sacks as a junior) but he played on a loaded Mission Viejo team and often didn't play the entire game.

Williams redshirted at OSU last fall and it took a couple months before he realized it was for the best.

"I was disappointed at first, but when it's all said and done it was better for me than if I would have played," he said. "Now I have four full years left and that's one of the reasons I'm working really hard right now is because I need to get out on the field this year. I can't use another redshirt year."

Williams dropped about 10 pounds after the knee surgery, but now he's back at 245.

"I'm starting to put the weight back on," he said. "I've been able to work out upper body, but no legs. But the weight is coming back now."

Williams is a good speed rusher off the edge when he's healthy.

"I think my strength is rushing the quarterback and just being disruptive in the backfield," he said.

Williams was born in Washington C.H., Ohio, but this was the first year he can remember spending in Ohio. It can be quite a culture shock for a kid from California, but Williams likes it in Columbus.

"Yeah, it's not so bad," he said. "The winter was a little bit rough, but it's not so bad."

And this was the mildest winter in Ohio in several years.

"Yeah, that's what people tell me," Williams said. "So I haven't seen the worst of Ohio. But that's OK. I like it out here."

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