120 Players You Need To
West Virginia LB Reed Williams
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.
Statistics, information and photo provided by the
West Virginia sports information department
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.
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
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
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)