Alabama Football: What You Need to Know About Crimson Tide's NT Jesse Williams
Alabama's newest nose tackle, Jesse Williams, became a big name to Alabama fans before he even set foot on campus, and his story is a long and interesting one.
Williams was practically a household name among the Tuscaloosa faithful even before his first practice, and for good reason.
He isn't exactly a once-a-generation player, but Williams has the ideal build to play nose tackle.
Here is a look at Williams and what makes him special.
It's common knowledge among Alabama fans that Jesse Williams is from Australia.
Unlike most Australians, he has aboriginal roots to the natives of Australia.
The first thing that jumps out is the way that Williams looks. Nearly his entire body is tattooed and he recently began to get tattoos on his neck and face, including one of the acronym "YOLO" in front of his left ear, which means "you only live once."
All of his tattoos have specific meanings to him, ranging from his family to his role on the Crimson Tide football team.
Perhaps his most entertaining tattoo is the one on his hand that reads "I stopped checking for the monster under the bed when I realised the monster is me" (Australians spell it "realise").
Williams' hairstyle of choice is just as interesting as his tattoos. He sports a perpetual mohawk mullet that varies in length but is always there.
On the field he likes to wear ridiculous amounts of eye black which, along with his hair, gives him the look of an Algonquin warrior.
The other part of Williams' appearance is his size. At 6'4", 320 lbs, he is one big kid.
Interestingly, his body fat percentage is visibly less than many other linemen out there on either side of the ball. He has a bit of a paunch, but that is typical of any lineman.
Williams has blue-chip size for a nose tackle not only in the SEC but the NFL as well.
His size is actually more ideal than former Tide nose tackle Terrence Cody, who was just as much a run-stuffing pile of fat as he was a great football player.
As if Williams wasn't already popular enough, he had to go and outdo himself recently by bench pressing 600 pounds.
Williams is the undisputed strongest player on the team when it comes to upper body strength.
Contrary to popular belief, upper body strength is just important as lower body for nose tackles, as it requires more than just good legwork to fight off double-teams.
The typical nose tackle is a hulking monster who doesn't move much and doesn't get to the quarterback. In short, he's slow.
Williams is not a typical nose tackle. He is fast. Former Tide center William Vlachos said of Williams, "He runs like a deer, even as big as he is."
He's faster on his feet than his two predecessors, Terrence Cody and Josh Chapman, and it allows him to rush the passer like backup nose guard Nick Gentry did in 2011.
What's most likely going to happen to Jesse Williams?
The difference is that Williams is big like Cody and Chapman and fast like Gentry. He has all the best qualities of Alabama's top-three nose tackles since 2008.
His speed is what allowed him to earn a starting position right away at the left defensive end position while he was groomed to be the starting nose tackle, a path that was painfully obvious from day one.
Williams' motor is yet another thing that separates him from Cody.
Though Cody was an outstanding player for the Tide, he was mostly a two-down player who took to the bench on most third-down plays. It wasn't just that he was an ineffective pass-rusher, but he wore out quickly as well.
That cannot be said of Williams. He has incredible stamina for such a big man and doesn't tire out quickly.
Nose guards at Alabama under Nick Saban split time almost down the middle, but Jesse Williams will see the majority of snaps during games, especially in the fourth quarter.
If there was one flaw Williams had when he arrived at the Capstone it was his technique, or lack thereof. He was a raw pile of muscle that didn't have the know-how to back up his brute force.
He started playing football when he was 15 in Australia, and club football and coaching there pales in comparison to high school football in places like the great state of Alabama.
Two years in the junior college ranks helped prepare him, but coaches there just can't teach someone like SEC coaches.
Alabama defensive line coach Chris Rumph was in his first year with the Tide in 2011, after doing great things at Clemson, and Williams clearly grew each and every week throughout the season.
Jesse Williams is the most promising nose tackle prospect that Alabama has had under Nick Saban. He has all the ups to play the position with no downs.
If Williams lives up to his potential, he will become a better nose tackle than even Terrence Cody was. All-America honors are certainly a possibility for him.
The only sad part to the story is the fact that Williams will be a senior in 2012 and will exhaust his eligibility.
What Nick Saban and crew could have done with this guy beginning as a true freshman would have been incredible, but they have done a bang up job preparing Williams for the NFL, which is where he will be next season.
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