The sophomore is ready to be part of the new-look Nebraska defense. With only Thad Randle returning on the interior line, the 6-foot-2, 275-pounder from Holland, Ohio, is ready to show coaches he’s up for the challenge. At Holland’s Springfield High, Williams played for former Nebraska graduate assistant Vince Marrow, who is now at Kentucky.
Q: How comforting is it to have that Ohio connection with so many of the coaches, especially Coach Pelini?
A: It’s definitely nice. We always joke around about those things. Since my family moved to Texas, Coach Bo will joke around and say ‘Hey, you got soft when you moved to Texas.’
Q: Is the knee injury still on your mind when you’re out on the field?
A: I’ve been able to overcome that. That’s been the biggest thing, getting over that. That will keep you back if you’re worried about getting hurt or anything holding you back.
Q: Was it on your mind last year?
A: Oh yes. Getting out there and getting some reps was everything. It was like starting over from scratch. It was rough. Had the surgery in January, and everything’s been good ever since.
Q: With Coach Marrow leaving, how difficult was that? You’ve been with him for many years.
A: It wasn’t too difficult. We’ll always have a good relationship. He’s been like an uncle to me most of my life. I’m always going to be in tight with him.
Q: You will get a chance this year to play against many of the other schools that recruited you. Have you faced any yet, and are there any you especially look forward to facing?
A: I was in against Wisconsin last year. I’m looking forward to playing Illinois, because one of my best friends plays right guard for them, Chris Boles. We’ve been talking about that for two years when we found out they were going to be on the schedule. And it’s homecoming, so that’s going to be a jacked up game.
Q: Will he be lined up on the same side as you?
A: Right over him. Right over him. I can’t wait for that.
Q: Even with some of the changes with the coaches and your injuries, are you still happy you’re at Nebraska?
A: I feel like we have it good here, honestly. Talking to some guys from other programs, here is second to none. Even some of the huge programs like Florida, I have buddies everywhere. This is the place to be.