November 8, 2010

Walk-on Williams taking strides

Sam Williams had several offers from small schools like Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi College coming out of Northwest Rankin (Miss.) High School in 2009.

The talented wideout was also offered preferred walk-on spots at Southern Miss and Houston but Williams wanted to test his talent in the country's best conference at Mississippi State.

"I was going to walk-on at Southern Miss and had told them I was going to do that," Williams said. "I'd talked to Houston a little bit about doing the same thing. I'd always wanted to come to Mississippi State growing up and when Coach (Dan) Mullen switched over I couldn't really turn down the offer to come here for the same thing at Southern. This was an opportunity to play in the SEC. I knew I could've gone and played at a smaller school like Mississippi College or Millsaps but I wanted to play at the highest level."

Williams walked on as a member of the Bulldogs roster last fall and redshirted in 2009. He was receiving praise for his efforts this spring from the coaching staff until disaster struck. Williams tore his ACL and also sprained his meniscus midway through spring drills.

"Coming into the spring I was still relatively new to the system and was still trying to learn," Williams said. "I came out of a high school system where we ran the ball a lot so coming into this was a whole new world. But once I started getting the concepts I started getting more comfortable and excelling. The coaches were teaching me real well and I was just working hard at it."

Williams was originally told that his injury would keep him off the field for six months but the redshirt freshman made his return in only four.

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