By (Tyler Waldrep)

Right tackle Jonah Williams doesn’t remember the first moment that everything clicked for him during his freshman season.

“You kind of get thrown into the fire and you either make it or you don’t,” Williams said. “So I just think kind of surviving everything [is it].”

For Williams, survival meant holding his own against guys like Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson and Tim Williams all year. He said those guys helped him learn and progress.

“When you get to practice against those guys every day it’s a huge iron sharpens iron opportunity,” Williams said.

Williams saw returns from his hard work in the form of a starting job this season. Other freshmen weren’t so lucky, but that’s the way it goes at Alabama. Stars don’t mean anything if you can’t beat out the older guys on the team.

“I started off facing a little adversity,” linebacker Mack Wilson said. “I wasn’t starting or nothing so you know how that goes. I just kept working, stayed humble about the whole situation and trusted the process.”

Wilson spent most of his time working on special teams, but that didn’t keep him from finding the limelight when Texas A&M came to town. The linebacker earned the praise of fans and coaches alike when he delivered a pair of big hits on kick returners- including one shot on Speedy Noil that probably went viral before the Aggie made his way back to the sideline.

“With that game I just had a feeling that I was going to have a good game,” Wilson said. “And Reuben [Foster] just told me that, he was just challenging me to based off what he did last year and I just showed up.”

Wilson said it’s tough coming in as a 5-star recruit and not starting right away, but he likes the challenges that come with earning playing time for the Crimson Tide.

Williams credits a lot of his success this season with his decision to enroll early last spring. He said having the entire offseason to grind is critical- especially considering the level of competition Alabama faces on regular basis.

“I think we faced some really good defenses this year, some really good D-lines especially the last couple weeks [of the season] and I’m just happy to be a part of that,” Williams said. “I think we’ve had a lot of success against some. It’s cool to be a part of that it’s rewarding.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports