Tag Archives: Nate Williams

Our Seniors – Nate Williams

Over the next couple days, I will be taking a look at 3 seniors (Nate Williams, Mason Foster, and Jake Locker) who have bled purple and gold.  Feel free to chime in on the comments if you have something to say about these guys.

When people think of seniors on the 2010 Husky football team, they think of Jake Locker.  Oh, you want me to name another one?  That’s easy, Mason Foster.  There is one guy who is regularly forgotten though, that’s Nate Williams.

Nate Williams came to the University of Washington in 2007 and played right away as a true freshman.  He earned the honor of UW freshman defensive player of the year and showed promise throughout the season.  Williams was an excellent running back in high school at Kennedy but came played safety from the get go for the Dawgs.

Just like Locker, Williams career started against Syracuse in 2007 and Locker wasn’t the only freshman who showed promise.  In a play that was forgotten by many, Williams had a pass deflection in the end zone while that game was still close.  It’s fitting that in his first game Nate Williams play was overshadowed by teammates.

Over his sophomore and junior seasons Nate Williams started 23 of 24 games.  The only game he missed, due to injury, was last year against Arizona.  It may not be a coincidence that the defense was pretty horrendous during that game and it took a miracle to win.

That brings us to this year.  Nate is second on the team in tackles, and would be leading the conference in tackles if it wasn’t for that crazy linebacker playing in front of him.  He is as solid as they can get on the Huskies defense.

Yet, why do we always forget him?  He has been one of the three best players on the Husky defense for the last three years and his ovation on senior day was the same volume as Greg Christine’s (nothing against Greg Christine, it’s just that Nate Williams has played and succeeded in way more games).

It’s much overdue and far too little for you, Nate, but thank you.  Thank you for bleeding purple and gold.  Thank you for playing hard even through an 0-12 season.  Even through a coaching turnover and fans ridiculing you and your team.  You deserve a bowl game more than all these grumpy fans who can’t stop complaining about football in Seattle (myself included).  I’ll miss seeing you at Husky Stadium next year and I hope an NFL team takes a flyer on a guy who plays his hardest even in the worst situations.

Thanks for being a Husky, Nate.  You may have been overlooked quite often, but you won’t be forgotten.

Andrew

Update:  Little did I know Steve Kelley, Seattle Times Columnist, would write a piece on Nate Williams today too.  Here’s a link to his piece.

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Mitch Levy’s Game Tweets

Mitch Levy, from Sports Radio 950 KJR…

Like it or not, having the worst kick coverage team in major college football is plain and simply a reflection of the coaching staff.

I don’t think Nick Holt has done as good a job in his first year and a quarter as everyone else does. Def should be better than it is.

Nebraska drive to make it 28-14 was the most telling. 8 consecutive running plays right up middle. No 3rd downs. Blew UW’s interior def away.

Wide Receivers not as good as I originally thought. Against NFL caliber DB’s, no separation. Didn’t help Jake out.

Think #10 did a lot more than kill his Heisman chances. I think he clearly hurt his draft stock. He’ll be dropping down ‘big boards’ monday.

What was the freshman Ducre doing on 3rd and 14?
What was Desmond Trufant doing on 3rd and 16?
What was Quentin Richardson doing on Nebraska’s 2nd play from scrimmage?
What was Nate Williams doing on 1st play of 2nd half?

I don’t think I am as pessimistic as Mitch is, but I respect his opinion because he is not a homer and usually tells things how it is. I agree with his game tweets from watching Saturday’s game, although I am not heartbroken to get pumbled by an obviously superior Nebraska team. In fact, the BYU game still stings for me more than this loss. Saturday’s loss was just 1 game out of 12, and while it sucked to lose in the 2008 fashion that we did, it at least opened our eyes to what may actually be a realistic goal from this team. I will post more on this “reality check” later!

-Dan

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Glaring Numbers–Game 1

O: Husky points in the 2nd half

-39: Will Mahan’s rushing yards total

131: The passing yards total by both Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson. Neither were exceptional, but both QB’s were effective for different reasons, and the combination kept UW on it’s heels.

25:53: Time of Posession for UW. In comparison, BYU had the ball for 34:07. That’s half a quarter more, and in a tight game, those 8+ minutes are valuable.

14: The average yard line UW began it’s drive on. On 11 drives, the yard line UW started on was their own…27, 2, 20, 12, 1, 20, 7, 16, 14, 20, 25.
Conversely, BYU’s 12 drives began on…22, 21, 30, UW 47, 29, 43, 31, UW 48, 20, 23, 20, 27.

So that’s 6 drives Washington started inside it’s 20. Field position is an underrated aspect of a game, and probably the biggest culprit for Washington never finding it’s offensive rhythm was it’s horrible starting position. The playbook is very restricted inside your own 10.

36: Combined tackles by Mason Foster (14), Nate Williams (12), and Victor Aiyewa (10). Good performance by those 3 guys.

13: Consecutive road losses. The last road win came at Stanford on 11/3/07. If the Huskies do not win at USC or at Arizona, the road skid will hit 15 games, spanning 3+ years. Ouch.

2: Rating on my 1-10 “Memorable Game Scale.” This game was not very exciting, and like many 1st games, it was just weird. There was no rhythm from the Huskies offense (thanks to horrible field position), and there were a ton of 1st game mistakes. A lot of the special teams miscues we saw Saturday probably won’t happen again all year. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being the only game that the Huskies don’t score a point in the 2nd half. 2 years from now, I won’t remember much from this game.

-Dan

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UW Huskies Defensive Preview

In 2009, the Husky defense was frustratingly inconsistent.  Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Donald Butler, possibly its two best players, both graduated, but there is a lot of hope the defense will be greatly improved in 2010.  This is due partly to a dominating end to last season, holding WSU and Cal to 10 points in the final two games, but it’s also based on the potential maturation of a young group.

Defensive End

Starters:

Everette Thompson:  Thompson sounds like he’s recovered from an offseason achilles injury just in time, and stands to be one of the most important pieces of the defense.  A highly touted recruit, he’s spent time at tackle as well.  He’s bigger than most Husky D ends in recent memory, which will hopefully aid in the run defense.  It’s even more vital that he contribute in replacing some of Te’o-Nesheim’s record-number sacks.

Talia Crichton:  A true sophomore, Crichton played more than anyone likely anticipated last year, with decent results.  Hard to say what to expect from him, but coaches have been impressed with his improvement this fall.  He seems to be more of a pass rusher, which this defense desperately needs.

Depth: Kalani Aldrich, De’shon Matthews, Hau’oli Jamora, Josh Shirley.  Aldrich is trying to recover from knee surgery, but has decent potential if he can get back all the way.  He’d have contended for a starting spot if not for the injury.  Matthews is a former big time recruit who’s never really made an impact.  He has one last shot and is in position for a lot of minutes as the number one back-up.  Jamora and Shirley are true freshman.  Jamora is in the two-deeps and will play.  Shirley is more heralded, but joined the team late and seems to be having a tough transition to end from high school linebacker.  He’s likely to redshirt, but if he progresses and they’re needing a speed rusher, who knows.

Analysis:  This is one of the toughest positions on the team to call.  There’s potential, to be sure, but the only one who inspires real confidence is Thompson, and he’s coming off major surgery.  This group has to get pressure on the quarterback this year.  Hopefully they’ll be aided in that by an improved interior of the line.

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Huskies Practice Report – 4/13/2010

It was a beautiful day over at Montlake today.  The wind was blowing a little bit but the sun was enough to keep me and a few hundred other fans warm.  I showed up about 40 minutes late but I only missed a few drills and stretching.  The team is entering its third week of spring practice.  In the past years spring practice had stretched over 4 weeks but this year they stretched it out over 5 to keep the players fresh.  This idea seems to be working.  Guys are staying healthy and the team doesn’t appear to be tired at all.  There have been no significant injuries so far and several guys returned from minor injuries today.  De’Shon Matthews and Cody Bruns had each sat out the last couple of practices but both saw time today.  Nate Williams also practiced at full strength today.  D’Andre Goodwin remains sidelined with a hamstring injury but it doesn’t seem very serious.

The focus of today seemed to be red-zone offense and defense.  This is an area where the Huskies offense struggled last year; I had nightmares of the Notre Dame game while typing that sentence.  The offense and defense both had their moments today.  Specifically, it seemed as if the secondary had a very good day.  I think that group is going to be a strength next year.  These guys go up against one of the best passing attacks in the pac-10 in Jake Locker and a good group of receivers every day and usually hold their own.  I’ll have more on a few players in the secondary after the jump.

The quarterbacks were pretty much how they are every practice.  Jake Locker was great and the other two were mediocre.  Keith Price struggled early in drills but got a little better as the day progressed.  Montana’s always learning and he’s a little slower than the other two but you can see the talent there.

The running backs had decent days.  Deontae Cooper had a 75 yard run for a touchdown and that was probably the play of the day. 

Ryan Tolar got quite a bit of time at backup center today (he’s also working with the starters as guard).  I guess they just want him to be able to play everywhere or maybe they were giving Greg Christine a break.  The starting offensive and defensive lines are usually pretty even but the second team defensive line generally has their way with second team offensive line.  The walk-on defensive end Peter Follmer may actually have an impact on this team.  He made a few plays today and is really strong. 

To end the practice Sark gave the offense the ball and the defense’s 20 and let the starters go at it.  The offense got the ball down to the 2 yard line and then was stopped on 3 different plays.  When the coaches decided they were going to go for it all of the backups came running onto the field and surrounded the play.  They started cheering and yelling encouragement to the players they were backing up.  Deontae Cooper ran the ball in for a touchdown and all the offensive guys ran and tackled him in the end zone.  Then the offense went for a two point conversion and the defense stopped them.  This is what the staff has instilled in this team, competition.  It was a really cool moment and there were many smiles going around as the players left the field.

My players of the day after the jump. Continue reading

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Huskies Position Overviews – Safety

This is the last installment in our long series of position overviews.  Spring practice starts tomorrow. I plan on attending most of them and then posting practice reports. 

Today we’ll take a look at safeties; a position with a few questions but with even more promise.  Here’s my depth chart:

Starters:

  • Strong Safety: Nate Willliams, 6-0, 220, SR.
  • Free Safety: Justin Glenn, 5-11, 200, RS SO. or Nate Fellner, 6-1, 200, SO.

Nate Williams has been a mainstay in the Huskies secondary for the last 3 years.  He’s a solid player that the coaches like a lot.  He is sure to add experience to this group and be a leader on this defense along with Mason Foster.  He can play either position but the coaches prefer to have him at free safety.  The only downside on Williams is that he tends to wear down over the course of a full season.  This is a problem because the Huskies need to be able to count on Williams for all 13 games this year (yes, I’m counting a bowl game).  The biggest thing this spring for Williams is to stay healthy and to get stronger so that he’s able to be there all of next season.

Most people have Nate Fellner as the starter at free safety but I’m not so sure.  Because of a couple injuries last year, Fellner became the starter.  He showed potential but struggled at times, which is to be expected from a true freshman.  Nate was overlooked in the recruiting process and came to the Huskies unnoticed.  This looks like it was a good sleeper pickup for the coaching staff.  Fellner is a hard hitter and will be a solid player over his career.

The reason that Fellner doesn’t have the starting job on lock down is because of Justin Glenn.  Glenn became the starter against USC last year and we all know what happened that game.  He was a very good player and made many tackles before breaking his leg last year.  Without Glenn I don’t think we would’ve won that game against USC.  If he plays at the level he did last year I think he is the best free safety we have.  I don’t know if he will be able to do that though, returning from a broken leg is not an easy thing to do. 

Backups:

  • Strong/Free Safety:  Victor Aiyewa,  Greg Walker, Marquis Persley, Will Shaumburger

Aiyewa is senior who has had injury problems all of his career.  He is a big kid who will backup William at strong safety.  The coaching staff may take a look at him playing outside linebacker too.  Victor can hit people very hard.  I’ll never forget an interview I heard with Victor Aiyewa when the reporter asked him what he brought to the team, Aiyewa responded with the brilliant answer, “I like to hit people.”  Football players should say that more often.  Because of this I will always be a Victor Aiyewa fan.  If he can stay healthy, I think we’ll see Victor do some big hitting this Fall.

Greg Walker began last year as the starter.  He blew a couple coverage assignments and then was passed by Glenn and Fellner on the depth chart.  Walker can obviously do some good things or else the coaches wouldn’t have started him in the first game last year.  But, from what I’ve seen, Walker needs to get better in pass coverage and tackling.  He is only a sophomore and will only get better with time, assuming a Vonzell McDowell situation doesn’t occur.

The other two guys are not very well known commodities.  Persley, a junior, has spent the last couple years as a backup cornerback and now makes the transition to safety.  We’ll see what he can do come this spring.  Shaumburger red-shirted last year.  He was an impressive recruit and we hope that translates to the field.  Both of these guys need to have good springs in order to see the field come next fall.

Overall Position:  This team has plenty of talent at safety.  Over the course of last season, many of these guys gained experience also.  I think this group could be pretty good.  Matched with a good set of cornerbacks, the Dawgs might have a better secondary than they have in 7 or 8 years (which, to be honest, isn’t saying much).  The one gripe here is that it doesn’t look like the Dawgs have much star power at either safety position.  They have very solid players but I don’t think any of them have all pac-10 potential (although Nate Williams may get some consideration because he’s been consistent over the last 3 years).  It’s nice to have a solid group here and it’s nice to not have to worry too much about the Dawgs secondary for the first time in while.

Just a few quick notes after the jump  Continue reading

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