Mr. Physical

One thing becomes abundantly clear when you ask veteran Vols about Tennessee freshman defensive end Jordan Williams:

Junior linebacker Greg King: "Jordan is very physical; I can tell you that off the top."

Junior tight end Mychal Rivera: "He's a real physical kid. I like his physicality."

Sophomore nose guard Daniel Hood: "He's a really physical kid. For a freshman, he's really physical."

In case you missed it, Jordan Williams is a physical kid. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound freshman from Gainesville, Fla., has impressed the heck out of his Big Orange teammates in a short amount of time.

Junior offensive tackle Dallas Thomas, who blocks Williams in practice on a regular basis, might be the rookie's biggest fan.

"He's real explosive," Thomas said. "He comes off the ball real good, and I love the kid to death. He has some good hand moves and he's very quick off the ball. If you don't get your hands on him quick enough, you might miss the block."

In addition to physicality and explosiveness, Williams seems to have the determination to make the most of his skills.

"He gets it done," King said. "He's doing well right now and he's going to be great. Coach (defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox) is on him about being consistent but he's a great player. He's outstanding. If you ask him to do something, I guarantee he's going to give you 100 percent."

Most freshmen lack pass-rush skills when they arrive at college. That apparently is not the case with Jordan Williams.

"He's got the pass rush," King said. "He might need a technique here and a technique there but that's between him and Coach."

Rivera agreed, noting: "He has a pretty good pass rush, some pretty good moves. I have to block him sometimes, and he's a challenge."

One reason Williams is so difficult to block is his hard-nosed, aggressive nature.

"He's going to be good," the Vol tight end said. "He's out of Florida, and those Florida kids are real good. He likes to hit. I've seen him on special teams, and he comes down and hits people. He is not afraid. That's what I like about him."

Williams may need 20 pounds of heft to be an every-down player in the rugged Southeastern Conference. He seems to have all of the other attributes, however.

"I feel like he has the strength," Rivera said. "Sometimes he makes up for strength with quickness. He's pretty quick. "

Most times he makes up for strength with a relentless approach to the game.

"The thing I'm most impressed with is his effort and his stamina," Hood said. "He can go on an eight-play drive, and you can't tell which is the first and which is the eighth because of how hard he plays each time."

"He's a good kid and he works hard. He's got to learn some details of the position — some mental stuff — but the talent level is there, the effort is there and the toughness is there. As long as you've got the effort and toughness, all of the other stuff you can clean up and make good."

Jordan Williams

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