The All Saints High school varsity football team hasn’t gotten off to the best of start in 2014. After three weeks of football the Saints own a 0-2-1 record.
That kind of start can wear on a team and dishearten some players. Practices feel longer and it’s harder to give one hundred percent every day. Not for Mike Williams.
“You feel tired,” Williams said. “but then you see the younger kids that want to play on varsity and you see them going at it hard and so you do too. The season is so short it can just fly by you.”
Last season as a sophomore, Williams was the youngest defensive lineman on the varsity squad, but this year he is one of the oldest.
“I know so much more now,” he said. “I understand the game so much better than last year. I used to have to focus so hard on just fundamentals and now it feels natural to me, so I can just go out there without worrying.”
Williams’ experience also places him in a position of leadership for the first time with this team and so far he is enjoying it.
“Now I’m one of the older guys and I’m more confident- telling everybody what to do and I just feel more like a leader now,” he said. “I knew most of my stuff as a sophomore, I just wasn’t assertive because I was still the young guy and I didn’t want to be wrong. I like being a leader now, because I can see a lot of younger guys that are even more talented than me- they just got to get the little stuff down and people haven’t helped them enough yet to get all the way there. I can help with that.”
Standing at 6-3 280 pounds, Williams recorded 60 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and a sack as a sophomore. There is no doubt he can play, and SMU’s defensive line coach Bert Hill certainly noticed him early.
While Hill got the ball rolling with Williams and offered him, he hasn’t been in touch with the defensive tackle since the summer.
“[The last time we talked] was probably during the summer,” Williams said. “I came down to visit the SMU’s camp- I had some friends there.”
One of Williams’ closer friends and former teammates Daniel Gresham is on the Mustangs’ roster this year. Williams already has something turning his attention to SMU, which is why the lack of communication from the University has been disappointing for him so far.
He hasn’t narrowed his offers down to any sort of a ‘top anything’ but he says SMU is definitely in the mix right now.
Even in the wake of former SMU head coach June Jones resigning, Williams remains very interested in coming to the Hilltop.
“I had been watching their games and I was confused that he would step down,” he said. “But it is what it is and you never know what could happen. You got to see how they re-group and then see how the new coach does. It could be better for the school, you just don’t know right now.”
Williams has been to SMU about three times now, and while he hasn’t planned on another visit, he says it’s definitely a possibility.