By email@example.com (Matthew Speakman)
Four words. That is all that is going through Tim Williams’ mind as he jumps the snap. Four motivational words.
“Eat. Destroy. Predator. Conquer,” said Williams after Alabama’s 54-16 victory in the SEC Championship.
Those four words helped Williams get 8.5 sacks during the current season- only defensive end Jonathan Allen has as many as him. They helped him get 10.5 sacks the year before. For, Williams, rushing the passer is almost instinctual.
He believes he can blow up a backfield on any play.
“I really feel like when I come off of that edge, I can’t be stopped,” Williams said.
Following a breakout year in 2015, Williams returned for the 2016 season primed for a big senior season. He had already shown that he could rush the passer. Now, Alabama wanted to see him become an every-down force.
“Last year, you know, I was a role player and this year, my teammates and Coach [Nick] Saban just gave me an opportunity to be a leader and be out there every down,” Williams said.
After fast start to the year, Williams saw his senior season take an unexpected turn when he was arrested for carrying a gun without a permit before Alabama’s matchup with Kentucky. Williams had to sit out the first half of the game.
“That grounded me that just showed me that at the end of the day, no matter what you go through in life, God’s got you,” Williams said. “With the support of the teammates, Coach [Nick] Saban, awesome mentor, things like that, it just sparked me.”
Williams said that night before the Kentucky game helped him learn valuable lessons about life and football. As one of the Crimson Tide’s senior leaders, he knew he had to learn from his mistakes.
He said the incident helped him grow closer with his team. Williams entered the Kentucky game in the second half and recorded three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
“Sometimes people need to fall to learn how to get back up again,” he said. “So, that is the main thing that Jon Allen, Cam Robinson, Reuben Foster, that’s why we go out there and dominate, because we play for each other.”
Speed is killer for any pass rusher. Williams is confident in his speed when rushing off of the edge. During his strip-sack against Kentucky, Williams blazed off of the edge, spun back inside and chased down the quarterback. The ball came free, and Alabama recovered.
Plays like this have offensive lineman worried about his quickness off of the edge.
“They try to jump set me because they are scared of my speed,” he said. “That’s why the majority of my sacks this year come from me making inside moves, because they jump off so quick because they scared of my speed.”
Williams rose to the top of draft boards after his 2015 season, and continues to maintain his status as one of the top NFL prospects in the country. Many outlets him going in the first 20 picks of the draft.
Alabama’s defense is loaded with players likely to go high in the draft, and Williams said it is almost like a competition to see who gets to the quarterback first.
“It’s really just a race,” Williams said. “Because, if I don’t get back there, I know [Allen] is gonna get it. If [Allen] don’t get it, then Ryan Anderson or Dalvin [Tomlinson] gonna get it. It’s just competition all around.”
Williams and No.1 Alabama will face off against No. 4 Washington in the College Football Playoff. Standing on the other side of Williams is Jake Browning, who has 42 passing touchdowns on the year. Williams, with those four words in mind, will try to get to the quarterback as much as possible.
“We know this is our team, and through anything, we’re gonna make sure we bring a W back, because we work too hard,” Williams said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports