Reed's Ready

Throughout fall camp, head coach Rich Rodriguez has noted that as many as seven or eight linebackers could see the field. One of those is true sophomore Reed Williams.

Williams was one of several true freshmen who avoided a redshirt in 2005. While he didn't see a lot of playing time at linebacker, he did see plenty of action on just about every special team. Whether it was covering a punt or kickoff, or blocking on either, Williams was just happy to be on the field.

Now, though, he's ready to see some snaps from his natural linebacker spot. According to Reed, it's all about learning.

"I've learned a lot early on in my career here," he said. "(Linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Jeff) Casteel has taught me a lot of things already, so I've had the opportunity to take those instincts and things he taught me and apply them to my play on the field."

Learning is nothing new for Reed Williams. He was valedictorian of his 2005 Moorefield High School class. Since arriving at WVU, all he's done is have one of the highest GPA's on the football team (which says something on this team full of Big East academic all-stars.

Mountaineer coaches were so confident in this young accounting major that they threw a new position at him in the spring. To say he's picked it up would be an understatement. After all, he's locked in a battle with Bobby Hathaway for the starting job at Sam (strong-side) linebacker.

"I just started playing Sam in the spring, so I'm still trying to get used to it and become more comfortable with where I'm at," explained Williams.

His versatility to play both inside and outside has Mountaineer coaches excited about Reed's future. It also has Rodriguez making some comparisons between Williams and another former Mountaineer player.

"You don't want to put him in the same class as Grant Wiley yet, but he has some of those same qualities," Rodriguez said cautiously.

"That's a big name to be compared to for sure," Williams responded. "It's definitely flattering to be compared to a player like Grant."

Still, he knows there's plenty left for him to work on if he wants to be in the class of a player like Wiley, who graduated from WVU as the ninth consensus all-American in school history.

"The longer you're here, the more you learn from the coaching and the rest of the staff," he said. "They teach you that 'Mountaineer attitude' that Coach Rod's always talking about. It kind of comes to you the longer you're here. The upper classmen kind of have that edge to them, which is what I'm trying to get right now."

The former Moorefield Yellow Jacket also wants to send a message about players like himself that come from the small schools.

"I want to show those guys that Class A West Virginia players can play out here too."

Some would argue that he already has.


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