Roydell Williams Is Key to Tulane Offense

Frank Scelfo, offensive coordinator, believes the return of Williams, back in full stride after recovering from a fractured ankle, offers a new dimension for the Tulane attack.<br><br> "No one can stretch a defense like Roydell," Scelfo said. "He gives us more speed on the field and is a great receiver. The defense cannot devote as much attention to Mewelde Moore now.

He is not the darling of NFL scouts as is Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman.

His name is not sprinkled throughout the Green Wave record book like that of running back Mewelde Moore.

But Roydell Williams holds the key to a breakout year for the Tulane offense. Just listen to some of his coaches and teammates rave about the junior receiver from LaPlace:

Frank Scelfo, offensive coordinator, believes the return of Williams, back in full stride after recovering from a fractured ankle, offers a new dimension for the Tulane attack.

"No one can stretch a defense like Roydell," Scelfo said. "He gives us more speed on the field and is a great receiver. The defense cannot devote as much attention to Mewelde Moore now. If you take guys out of the box for coverage purposes, it gives us more seams inside for the running game. If you load the box up to stop Mewelde, obviously you get more matchups on the outside in the passing game."

Trooper Taylor, wide receiver coach, sees more opportunity for the receiver corps, now that Williams, the former East St. John star, has returned to the lineup.

"Our other receivers will benefit from his presence," Taylor said "We have speed, talent and experience at this position and when teams try to double Roydell, it will give one-on-one opportunities for someone else. If Chris Bush and James Dunn have the kind of season that they had in pre-season camp, we're going to be hard to beat."

J.P. Losman, the senior quarterback, sees an improved receiver corps with Williams not only a big play threat, but as a leader at his position.

"With him back on the field, the other receivers are going back to their natural position," Losman said. "He makes everyone better. As a leader, he is pushing others to become better receivers. He shows them the way to improve each day."

Chris Bush, his friend and teammate from East St. John High, sees Williams as the team's deep threat and a major motivator.

"Other teams like to focus on him because he is such a deep threat," Bush said. "He has a drive and motivation that has rubbed off on other members of the team this summer. We have pushed each other in our workouts getting ready for the season."

James Dunn, senior wide receiver, noticed Williams influence on younger players.

"We worked harder this summer than ever," Dunn said. "As one of the team leaders, he has been responsible for getting some of the younger players to become more dedicated."

Williams and the Green Wave will be featured on national television Monday night, Sept. 1 against TCU in the Superdome. TCU, defending Conference USA champion, led the nation in defense a year ago.

The Wave offense will attempt to challenge this veteran defense with the passing game led by Losman and Williams and the running of Moore.

If TCU concentrates on defending the long pass, the shorter routes should be open for Williams and the other Wave receivers. If Williams gets double coverage, the Green Wave's other targets could be dangerous. Chris Bush of LaPlace, Nick Narcisse and Tristan Smith of Slidell, James Dunn of Santa Monica, Calif., and Moore of Baton Rouge, all have the speed and the moves to make the big play.

Williams arrived four seasons ago, looking very much like six o'clock. He was pencil-thin at 6-2, 174-pounds. After an industrious off-season in the weight room, Williams is now 6-2, 188. And he's asserting himself as a team leader.

He spent the summer working out with Bush. They shared an apartment. They lifted weights together. They ran and caught passes together. They motivated one another and they worked at motivating the players around them.

"Roydell was smart to take Chris Bush under his wing," said Taylor, their position coach. "If Bush has a good season, it will take some of the defensive pressure off Roydell."

His sophomore year gave everyone an inkling of what he might do at the college level. Williams made 56 catches for 886 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2001 and averaged 15.8 yards per catch.

But if you listen to the folks around Tulane, the best is yet to come.

This article was published originally in L'Observateur of La Place, La.


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