120 Players To Know - WVU LB Reed Williams
West Virginia LB Reed Williams
West Virginia LB Reed Williams
Posted Mar 24, 2009

Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with West Virginia LB Reed Williams.

120 Players You Need To Know

West Virginia LB Reed Williams

By Richard Cirminiello

Who is Reed Williams? … If West Virginia was seeking a poster child for its program, Williams would get a strong look. Bright, hard-working, and largely overlooked coming out of high school, he has always been a Mountaineer at heart. Last year, however, he was an idle Mountaineer for all but two games, opting to redshirt after his surgically-repaired shoulders didn’t heal as quickly as he’d hoped. It was a difficult, emotionally-draining decision, but it was also the right decision. Williams believes he became an even better student of the game as he looked on from the sidelines, and the time off has done wonders for those barking shoulders. Reporting a clean bill of health and no lingering effects from the surgery, he’s finally ready for contact this spring. Lots of contact. Williams plans to pick up where he left off in 2007, while doing his part to get West Virginia back to the top of the Big East.         

Williams’ best game so far was
… the 2008 Fiesta Bowl versus Oklahoma. The Defensive MVP of the Mountaineers’ upset in Arizona, he collected nine tackles, including seven solo stops, a couple of tackles for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble. More than just the best effort that evening, he delivered one of the top defensive performances of the entire bowl season.   

Why you should care about Reed Williams? … He’s the heart and soul of the Mountaineer defense, and a candidate to lead the Big East in tackles this fall. Entering his fifth season with the program, Williams is an intellectual leader and a terrific stopper in run defense. The 2008 team sorely missed his presence after two games. The 2009 team, however, is thrilled that he’s returning at full strength.  

Positives about Williams … No player at West Virginia knows Jeff Casteel’s unique 3-3-5 stack better than Williams. A heady, instinctive player, he’s always in the right spot on the field, which helps offset a lack of scary size and speed. For Casteel, he’s like having another coach in the huddle, a fiery leader who makes his teammates better and rarely misses a tackle.

Negatives about Williams … Williams is the first to admit that he’s the stereotypical West Virginia middle linebacker, who won’t blow you away with his size or athleticism. At just 6-2 and 225 pounds, he’ll sometimes have problems getting off bigger linemen, who make their way to the second level of the defense. After undergoing surgery on both shoulders before the 2008 season, durability will be a concern until proven otherwise.

A cool thing about Reed Williams you probably didn’t know … At Moorefield (WV) High School, he was the valedictorian of his class, graduating with a 4.6 GPA. When he leaves Morgantown, he’ll do so with degrees in finance and marketing, and a minor in communications.

Career Statistics
2007: 107 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, and 3 forced fumbles
2008: 17 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and an interception (2 games)

Statistics, information and photo provided by the West Virginia sports information department