Q&A with Brandon Williams

True freshman receiver Brandon Williams has stormed on the scene, most notably last week's six catch, 125-yard performance. Williams will also likely handle punt returns this Saturday for Jim Leonhard, who was a little bit banged up last week. Here is what Williams had to say:

Can you talk about how the season has started for you? It must be really exciting to have already had a huge game like last week's performance.

Williams: Well yes, I'm very excited about how I'm doing, because I'm starting to grasp the offense and the offensive scheme and just know what the coaches expect me to do, day after day after day after day, and being able to get that done.

Considering your injury in fall camp, that could have put you behind the eight-ball, how relieved are you that you were able to still make enough of an impact to get playing time immediately?

Williams: I was recruited for a reason and it wasn't to come and sit around and not make any plays. I'm glad that I can come in and make plays for the team.

At the same time, you look at the depth chart, and even without Lee Evans in the equation, you have guys like Travaan Hayes, Byron Brown, David Braun, Enrique Cook, Brandon White and so forth. Were you pretty confident coming in that you could beat some of those guys out for playing time?

Williams: Well I was just trying to trust my abilities, and knowing that if I put my mind to anything, I can do it. And those older guys, they really helped us younger guys out a lot. Because they are going through things just like we're going through them, and they've been through what we've been through. They are just trying to get better, just like we're trying to get better.

Can you talk about exactly what happened to you in fall camp with that injury, and how you were able to recover so quickly?

Williams: Well I had a high ankle sprain, and that normally takes three or four weeks to recover. But I kind of heal really well, and with my training and rehabilitation to get better, I got better quicker than they expected. They just worked me and worked me and I got back on field.

The way defenses have been stacking up against the run as West Virginia did last week, did you feel like you had a ton of open space out there to make plays?

Williams: Yes sir. They were basically in a zone most of the whole game. All you have to do is find the holes. Watch the film, see where the holes are going to be and the coaches called the right plays. Everything was just kind of clicking.

Coach Alvarez always talks about how difficult it is for true freshmen to contribute significantly because of the difficulty in getting adjusted to college, learning the system, understanding the plays and all of those things. Yet this year, there have been a number of true freshmen like yourself stepping in and not looking like true freshmen at all. What accounts for that?

Williams: During training camp, all of us studied our plays before we went to sleep, as a group sometimes. We were on it before the seniors and older guys came in. We would always be studying. Every day, we would just be walking around with our playbook. So I guess we kind of caught on real quick. Then at the beginning of training camp, they kind of fed us as few amount of plays as they could to get us to learn the system. And then once everybody else got in, they just threw it on us. We were pretty much running all the same plays, so it was pretty good.

Have you had a chance to talk to your high school coach and people back home? They must be pretty fired up.

Williams: Yes sir. My coach said there have been a couple of articles in the paper, the St. Louis Dispatch, about it, about what I'm doing and about a few other guys from my team too, so we're doing pretty good.

You seem pretty determined to continue that St. Louis connection. Would you say the quality of high school football in that area is the primary factor for how well the recruits from that area have done here?

Williams: Yeah, that's pretty much the cream of the crop in St. Louis, right there. The Suburban North Conference is one of the best conferences in the country, and we've put a lot of players in Division I schools.

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