Williams makes it through emotional day

Not that he ever thought the day would come, I'm sure he would have avoided it under ideal circumstances. Normally brothers wouldn't want to square off on opposite teams, but it happened on Saturday. On one side? Fresno State receiver Paul Williams, the youngest of the family. And on the other side? his older brother J.D. - both spurred on by the memory of another brother.

It was a needed change, but ironic in the timing. Washington Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer decided to move Williams - who normally would coach during gamedays from the coaches' booth - down to the field to be closer to his young and relatively inexperienced secondary. As a result, he was able to see Paul up close and personal many times. The youngest Williams ended up catching six passes for 85 yards and one touchdown in a losing effort.

"It was good to be back on the field," Williams told Dawgman.com after Washington eeked out a tense 21-20 win at Husky Stadium. "It's still a young secondary. C.J. has some experience and Roy Lewis has some experience, but they've taken their lumps in the past. Kent decided to put me on the field because I'm their position coach and he wanted me talking directly to them."

The game went by like a blur, and at no time did either J.D. or Paul think about the other while play was going on. But that sure wasn't the case before and after the game. "I'll probably do it when we look at the film, but at the time it was just, 'Go stop No. 1'," J.D. said.

"It was an emotional game," he added. "It was really emotional in the beginning. During the pre-game, waiting for things to start happening, and then you look up and you see your family...and then you see your younger brother run on the field and pause right over the '25' right on the field...it started to get to me. I just wanted him to get away from the circle so I could get going."

"It was kind of hard because he has a job to do for the other team," Pau said.

Paul has made a habit of taking time out for No. 25 at Husky Stadium. He did it on Saturday and he also did in when the Bulldogs visited the Huskies back in 2004. 'No. 25' references the number worn by Curtis Williams, his and J.D.'s brother, who played safety at the University of Washington. Curtis died in May of 2002 after suffering a spinal cord injury in the fall of 2000.

"The game meant a lot to me because my brother Curtis played here. I was just real proud of the support that I had here."

Nearly 40 members of the Williams' family, including the eldest brother David, made the trip to Seattle to see Paul's Bulldogs take on J.D.'s Huskies. The Huskies won this particular battle, but it'll just be a footnote when all the Williamses get together Saturday night to celebrate what family is all about.

"I said 'Good game', but he didn't want to hear that," J.D. said when asked about the post-game conversation he had with Paul. "He was a little upset. So I just gave him a hug and took off."

And after they see each other Saturday night, J.D. will call Paul next week and they'll talk about the game...eventually. And J.D. will offer up some pointers, things that Paul can do to clean up the weaknesses in his game.

"And more importantly, correct the mistakes that we made," said Williams.

And it will all be done while never once forgetting about the bond that helped bring their family together that fateful Saturday in September.

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