Last month, among the host of amazing athletes Alabama head coach Nick Saban brought to the Capstone was Brisbane, Australia native Jesse Williams. Today FoxSports offers a look at the Aussie who now calls Tuscaloosa home.
Regarded as the top JUCO in this year’s class, the 6-4, 325 pound space-eater immediately drew comparisons to the Tide’s former famous space eater, Terrence Cody. Cody is now making (and eating) lots of clams with the Baltimore Ravens.
Coach Saban has said countless times he hates comparisons, and perhaps I should too. It’s not fair to project one player’s accomplishment on another’s potential.
But it’s not hard to get excited about Jesse Williams.
“He runs like a deer,” said Alabama center William Vlachos, “even as big as he is.”
My earliest remembrance of Cody was the ’08 Clemson game, where he ran down the ball carrier in the backfield. From that point on his presence changed the game for Bama’s opponents. Will Williams make the same mark on future game plans?
“He certainly looks the part. There’s no question about that,” Vlachos said. “He bench presses a lot more than I do already. The great thing about him is, he’s pretty versatile. He can play noseguard, end, what you want him to play, he can probably play it.”
Cody would go on to have one of the most prolific 2-year careers for any JUCO at Alabama, without a single critic accusing him of playing dirty. The need to assign two blockers to him opened up rushing lanes for linebackers, who at the time (minus Rolondo McClain) were less talented than Bama’s current linebacking corp.
Just imagine if Williams presented the same challenge with Alabama’s current linebackers? According to the FoxSports article, Williams says he’s no stranger to facing double teams.
“I’m definitely used to that in junior college,” he said. “I think once news got out about Alabama recruiting me, everyone kind of went after me every game. I would get double-teams and I would get chopped (chop-blocked) every game. I’m used to it. I’m not really a small guy so I think I should be able to handle that.”
Looks like he’s already prepared for game twelve.
With so many gifted athletes on this team, there are so many story lines brewing with the 2011 edition of Alabama football. But, it’s highly likely that Jesse Williams will likely be among the most fun to talk about.