Williams' New Role

When offensive lineman Trent Williams decided not to declare for the 2009 NFL draft, he stepped up into the most important role on the line, the unanimous leader.

Trent Williams, the lone starter from last year's offensive line, is working on becoming a leader, both vocally and by action.

"It's coming along real well," Williams said. "I'm getting used to it. It still kind of feels funny at times, but I see the young guys starting to react and respond and, you know, at times it gives me more motivation also."

Motivating the younger players isn't always as tough as it would seem, though.

"Then again, sometimes with young guys, it's guys that have been here since I've been here," Williams said. "They just haven't been counted on as much as they are now. It's just getting in there and responding because they [have] got the talent. It's just knowing the assignments and completing the assignments. That's all."

For a truly inexperienced offensive line as far as game time is concerned, Williams said the progress is there.

"They're doing real good," Williams said. "Everybody's getting more physical. Everybody knows what they're doing a lot more, so we're progressing every practice. I'm liking the progress."

Recently, the Sooners were called out by head coach Bob Stoops, as he said they were the "weak link" on the team.

That was a motivating factor for Williams for both himself and those he's leading on the line.

"Well, I knew it was coming because, like I said, we had a bad start, a bad start to winter conditioning, but he just—I didn't take it as a bad thing," Williams said. "I took it as we needed to step up. I feel like we're doing that."

Recently, on the Sooners' first practice back from spring break, the Wednesday after the break, the line had another rough day, and Williams said that's motivated them to get better as well.

"Yeah, it has [changed] from Wednesday's practice," Williams said. "[Even for] me and myself, it was horrible. I guess it was a hangover from the break, but it wasn't good at all, so, yeah, we have stepped up."

Fans will always recognize the big blocks former linemen Duke Robinson and Phil Loadholt made for OU, but one player may be under recognized for what he did in his time, Jon Cooper.

"His leadership [is the biggest thing we'll miss] because he knew everybody's position. He knew what everybody had to do every play, so, yeah, we're gonna really miss that," Williams said.

That's the role Williams might have to step into.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories