OU head coach Bob Stoops has said that he and his staff have known for awhile that Trent Williams was special, it just took the rest of us a little longer to give him his just due.
"Last year he was a guy that went under the radar," Stoops said. "He was playing very similarly a year ago. He was always one of the guys that graded the highest."
"He has size, strength and all of that, but it's his feet. He's one of those unusual guys. With his size he could truly be a defensive lineman, and that doesn't happen a lot."
Williams is not ready to take much credit on his shoulders for his play, but he does admit that he benefits on Saturdays because of the preparation he puts in during the week at practice and in film study.
"I would not say that I am better than anybody else," Williams humbly acknowledged. "When I come in and watch film I just try to take mental notes of what I have been doing. Even if the coach does not point it out I just try to take a mental note of it and just try to go out there in the day during practice and try to fix it or get better at it."
"That is pretty much all, I am not going to say I am some kind of machine that does not take a play off, because I do get caught slipping a lot, but I do try to fix my mistakes on a personal level."
"I am not going to say I have arrived because I am still learning and I am still growing," Williams added. "I had so many busts and I can get better in a lot of stages of the game, but it does feel good to know that he has the confidence - on the road against a good opponent - to trust me to run the first couple of plays behind me to get the game going."
Checking in at over 300 pounds Williams has amazingly quick feet. It is very rare that you see a smaller and quicker defensive end blow past him, and he believes a combo of talents helps him get in the position to get a good block on a speedy rush end.
"I got to get in position fast," Williams said. "I mean if it is a fast rush I got to kick out quick, get low, you got to stay in a fit position, because if I stand up straight up they can give me a quick move and get right past the block. So I just try to focus on staying low – good position, good posture – just being quicker than I usually have to."
Williams admits that he has had to make some adjustments in his game for the no huddle offense. Last year he would sometimes ask Brandon Walker his assignment on the way up to the line, but he now has to know in a split second where his responsibilities lie.
"That no huddle he calls the play and it's like that," Williams said as he snapped his fingers. "It is on you like that. You got to know what to do, you got to see the defense, but yeah there is a lot of mental concentration."
Williams believes that there is much more confidence along the offensive line this year compared to last, and the game against West Virginia may have been the turning point that drove them to make the necessary improvements.
"I think it is our desire to be dominant," Williams explained. "Ever since the spring after the West Virginia game we all as one communicate with each other, we have got to be more physical. As you know the West Virginia outing was terrible. We all communicate with each other that we have to be more physical."