Jesse Williams is one of the most exciting prospects in college football today. A mammoth defensive lineman that runs well under a five second 40-yard dash and benches Chevy Suburbans, Williams has gained muscle and lost more than 10 lbs. of fat. Not that he had much fat to begin with, even though he started at 330 lbs.
I'm not going to give Jesse a cliche nickname filled with alliteration and slant rhymes. That would just be silly. However, Williams has been as quiet as a church mouse the past few months.
After a short A-Day appearance, a mild knee injury and a training camp sealed from the public with more locks than Fort Knox, Williams slipped into temporary obscurity.
His unseen development was overshadowed by the "legendary quarterback battle of the ages" that apparently split the Bama Nation more than the Iron Bowl has split the state of Alabama. In reality, people are just making a mountain out of a mole. It's just your standard position battle.
So what can we expect out of Williams, who is slated to start against Kent State?
First, the depth chart for this season's opener is by no means a clear indication for the rest of the season's starters. It's about as clear as the slime in the potholes on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Nick Saban is just testing the waters.
Second, Williams was expected to push senior Josh Chapman for the starting nose guard spot, which didn't happen. Though he could do it, Jesse is just too athletic to be a run stuffer. He'll be at defensive end, most likely to the left of Chapman, right where Marcell Dareus made his money.
If Williams comes out swinging, as expected, offensive lines are going to have a tough time figuring out who to double team. A single center has no chance of stopping Chapman, so there's one double team.
Damion Square and Ed Stinson are quite athletic and could make mean pass rushers.
After the Iron Bowl and the Capital One Bowl, now healthy senior jack linebacker Courtney Upshaw is officially back on the radar as one of the premier pass rushers in the entire FBS. No longer will we see him blitz the quarterback completely unblocked.
Dont'a Hightower has been known to knock down linemen already engaged with a defensive end during blitzes, freeing up the end to rush the passer.
We can expect Williams to use the notoriety of the other linemen and blitzing linebackers to his advantage. If he can get by with avoiding double-teams, he will wreak havoc on the Kent State quarterbacks.
Yes, quarterbacks (Michigan State went through about 30 quarterbacks against Alabama in January).
Hailing from Australia where nobody watches "handegg" and then attending a heralded junior college, Arizona Western, Williams came to Alabama as pure, raw talent. Since January, he has been under the tutelage of some of the best.
He has practiced against some of the best offensive linemen in the country while being coached by the new, boisterous defensive line coach Chris Rumph, who developed the highly touted NFL draftee DeQuan Bowers at Clemson.
He has increased his already superhuman strength under the careful watch of equally loud strength coach, Scott Cochran ("They're goin' to a @#$%in' funeral!").
Jesse has has the size, the speed, the wingmen and the coaching. Barring injury, expect him to lock down departed Marcell Dareus' position for the next two years. That is, assuming the NFL doesn't scoop him up early.
The potential is there for him to flop, but he has gained enough trust to start today, and his visiting competitors wont put up much of a fight.
Kickoff is in 60 minutes. Let's see what happens.
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