Every day here at Your Best 11, we are counting down to the start of the regular season with our top 150 players for the 2012 season.
No. 85: Jesse Williams, No. 54, Alabama, Nose Tackle
Jesse Williams is a plug. The guy is a stump in the middle who's strong and capable of consuming a double team, pushing the pocket and funneling the action to his linebackers.
One thing that Williams is that we could not say about most nose tackles is that the young man is versatile. Yes, he lines up as the point man in the 3-4. However, he also lines up at the off tackle position in their four-man fronts and even slides out to the five-technique for Nick Saban.
The big kid runs sideline to sideline well, is able to get off blocks in the run game when he's out of the nose position and he pursues the football very well for an interior lineman.
Staying low is the only true issue one sees when they watch Williams. He's versatile, but as games go on or as linemen get moving, he pops his body up. That makes it a bit harder for him to slip blocks and gain leverage. And in football, leverage is the name of the game.
If Jesse Williams can stay low for four quarters, keep pushing linemen off their mark and causing problems, then he will be on the right track.
There are a lot of great defensive linemen returning for 2012 in the SEC. As such, Jesse Williams, a nose tackle who is not going to fill up a stat sheet, will have a tough time cracking the All-SEC Team. However, whether he makes the team or not, his presence will be felt as Alabama pushes to make it back-to-back national titles.
For the Tide to be successful, Williams has to occupy two blockers, give the linebackers clear run-through lanes and make tackles when the opportunity presents itself.