Mr. Versatility Comes up Big

In his five years with the Trojans, versatile Thomas Williams, has been asked to perform a variety of roles, including linebacker positions, special teams and fullback in 2006 when that position was decimated by injury. 

In 2005, Thomas Williams served as a backup linebacker, then took the starting role on both the strong side and the weak side before injury ended his season.

His latest role has been to move over from the (backup) middle linebacker position to the strong side for the injured Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews. Williams takes on his roles with a willing attitude and a "team first" mentality. He has played all three linebacker positions for the Trojans.

"We (linebackers) have a good role on this team," said Williams. "We play kickoff and all special teams and defense, we have a good defensive line and good defensive backs."

Williams started for the Trojans on Saturday against the Washington Huskies. After the Huskies scored their first touchdown Carroll huddled the defense. 

"He said those things are going to happen, don't get frustrated when it happens. Just come back and compete and fight the next opportunity you get on defense."

Williams was impressed with the play of the Huskies.

"They weren't afraid of anything; they kept battling, kept competing all night. I can't say we played our best football." He continued, "There was a lot of adjustments we had to make last week, we were just fortunate enough to come out with a win."

About the hands to the face penalty Thomas relayed, "I felt that he was holding me, but that doesn't mean I can go with hands to the face. I'll just use that as a learning opportunity. You can't put your hands to the face; I'll just use a different technique next time to get him off me."

Williams was instrumental in the Trojans win with his first interception of the season.

"I just dropped back into coverage and read the quarterbacks eyes and he threw it right to me. I didn't do anything special, God just blessed me with the opportunity to get an interception."

Williams commented on starting again after a couple years, "It wasn't any different other than getting to be in the starting line up for TV. Every game I go in with the mindset that I will be playing any of the three linebacker positions. I wouldn't say my mindset or anything changed I just got in about twice the amount of plays than I normally do."

Finally, Williams commented on California's rise in the polls and what it means to the Trojans. "Each week we want to play the best, with California being number three, we just want to play the best every week."


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