Williams will help Vol D

It didn't take long for John Chavis to figure out that Gerald Williams can help Tennessee. It may take a lot longer to figure out where he can help Tennessee most.

Gerald Williams, the 6-4, 240-pound transfer from City College of San Francisco who spent the past three years battling the NCAA Clearinghouse to get into UT, has the size, speed and toughness to play any position in the front seven except tackle.

"From what I've seen, I've been impressed," says Chavis, the Vols' defensive coordinator. "He's done a good job, certainly getting himself in a position where he's ready to play.

"I think in the run game he's going to be fine. Eventually, he can do the things we need him to do in the passing game. That's a process, and he's getting close."

After playing weakside linebacker in Scrimmage No. 1 on Aug. 9 and middle linebacker in Scrimmage No. 2 last Saturday night, Williams could be playing his third position in as many weeks when the Vols hold Scrimmage No. 3 Thursday afternoon.

"We've got to make some decisions as to whether he's going to be more valuable to the team there or in another position," Chavis notes, surely referring to defensive end. "Certainly, in the run game he can go play for us right now. There's no doubt about that. And he's very close in the passing game."

Williams looked great at middle linebacker Saturday night, leading all tacklers with seven stops. His explosive strength and quickness, however, could make him a tremendous weapon as a rush end.

Where to play Gerald Williams isn't the only question still to be resolved on Tennessee's defense, though. Chavis continues waiting for either Nevin McKenzie or Adam Myers-White to emerge as the No. 1 strongside linebacker. Both are 6-2, 210-pound seniors and both have been bracketed No. 1 since spring practice began. Their battle has not yet produced a winner.

"It's still ongoing," Chavis says. "I don't mean for this to sound like I'm disappointed but neither one of them has separated himself. It may be game week before we decide. Hopefully, they'll keep pushing each other and making each other better."


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