The one constant in the secondary so far this season has been junior free safety Darrien Williams, who has been a starter since the start of training camp and who started four games a year ago.
Williams has seen a lot of changes in the secondary since last seasn, but is one who believes the secondary is much better for the competition. Williams recently sat down with OUinsider.com to talk about the play of the secondary and the upcoming game with Texas for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: How difficult mentally are the safety positions at OU to play? Are they the two most complicated positions on the field?
DW: "They are complicated if you let them be. If you know your job, if you know what is coming at you, then it is a real fun position. It is more fun than any other position to me, because I get to react. When you study your position and you know what is coming at you, it is real easy. It works like that and you make plays and you fall into so many plays. You are surrounded by so many plays that it becomes a fun position to play."
JH: How difficult is it to tackle from the safety position, especially since many times you are coming in on the fly?
DW: "It is a difficult spot, but it comes with the job I feel like. You are surrounded by so many great players and you get so many opportunities to make plays. The most enjoyable thing about the game is competing and making plays."
JH:It may not be fun when a 10.2 wide receiver is trying to run right past you?
DW: "No, that is not very fun. And that is not the most enjoyable thing. It just comes with the job and I really enjoy the job here at OU. I enjoy going out there with my teammates around me, and you have to trust that everybody is going to be in the right position. You have to trust they are going to be where they are supposed to be."
JH: How well do you feel you are doing in pass coverage?
DW: "I feel like I am OK, but I can do better. I am still waiting for that pick, to tell you the truth. I am trying to make sure that I keep everything in front of me that is supposed to be in front of me and make sure when I am supposed to be underneath that I am underneath. I am trying to make sure I am doing my job."
JH: Do the two safety positions have to work well together or are they two separate positions that happen to be in the same area?
DW: "You have to work well together here. There is so much communication going on with signals, because you are not going to be able to talk about there on the field with 84,000 people in the stands. You have to work well together. You have to know what they are going to do and know the formations that are coming at you. Sometimes we don't have time to talk so you have to know that the other safety knows he has to spin down or that he has to do his job. Sometimes the relationship that you have with the other safety is important."
JH: What kind of feeling did you have when you learned that Reggie was going to be back at strong safety where he played most of last year?
DW: "I love it. I can trust him. I mean, I can trust all the players who have played there, but we have built some loyalty and trust in the secondary since last year. I have played with him more than anybody else. He knows the formations and he knows when he is spinning down tigh. He knows what is coming at him and I like that about him. He is real smart."
JH: What are your early thoughts on the match-up with Texas?
DW: "They are a very talented team. When you want to be the best you have to go up against the best. They are up there right now and I feel like it is going to be a good test for us. I am excited about the opportunity."
JH: Since you are from Texas (North Mesquite), does this game mean more to you?
DW: "It does mean something to me. I get to go home and show up in Dallas, Texas where I am from. It is going to be big and I can't wait."
Two Minute Drill: Darien Williams
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