JMU's Williams Thriving at Linebacker

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

The James Madison coaching staff grades its defensive players following each game using a system of "production points."

Through the first two games of the 2009 season, the defense's most productive player has been sophomore linebacker Pat Williams.

Williams is the reigning CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year. But that was as a strongside safety, where Williams was a starter for most of the season.

Following the 2008 season, Williams moved to inside linebacker because, according to head coach Mickey Matthews, he'd be a better player lining up closer to the line of scrimmage.

"It took me a little to get adjusted to all the stuff moving around me," says Williams.

"I think it suits him very well," says Matthews. "He needs to get a little bigger, he's about 215. We've got to get him to eat some more biscuits, but he'll be fine."

Williams has started both games at linebacker, and has a team-high 21 tackles (ten against Maryland, 11 against VMI) including a sack against the Terps.

"It's awesome so far. I like being near the ball, inside the box," says Williams. "So I like it a lot."

"He's a tough guy. He's smart," says Matthews. "It doesn't surprise us he's playing well, or we wouldn't have moved him."


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