When Nebraska senior defensive tackle Kevin Williams hasn't been sidelined with season-ending injuries in 2011 and 2013, he's been productive.
But, nevertheless, he had been considered backup to junior Vincent Valentine by the media.
In a brief appearance with the media after Nebraska's opening training camp practice, Williams made it clear: He sees himself as a starter.
"I’m not a backup," Williams said. "I haven’t been a backup since my redshirt freshman year. So I’d appreciate it if you guys didn’t publish that, didn’t put that out there, as me as a backup. I’m not a backup. I’ve been hurt twice and that set me back, but I have never been a backup. OK? So just to get that straight, I don’t want my name out there anymore, unless you got something good to say, and you got me in there as the No. 1 spot. Because I am not a backup, and never have been since my redshirt freshman year. That’s all I got to say."
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Williams started two games last season, finishing with three sacks and eight tackles for loss. His best game came against Northwestern in a 38-17 win.
Valentine missed Thursday's practice with a bone bruise on his left knee. After practice, when answering a question about Nebraska's competition at kicker, coach Mike Riley said it's important for players to believe they have a chance of winning the starting job. Riley also mentioned two players he believed would be starting for sure - punter Sam Foltz and defensive tackle Maliek Collins.