September 10, 2010

Jarvis Williams looking forward to homecoming

Saturday's game against UCF has been on the mind of Pack wide out Jarvis Williams for a long time. It will be Williams' only chance during his collegiate career to play in front of the hometown crowd that he used to dazzle as a standout at Orlando (Fla.) Jones High School.

"I'm excited to go down to my hometown and play in front of a big fan base and the people who got me to where I am today," he said. "I'll just be excited getting this win down there. I get someone every day asking for tickets, I'm just getting as many as I can, 30 or 40-something tickets. Plus, there's a bunch of people back home that bought tickets for the game. There's going to be over 60 [people in the stands that I know]."

The fifth-year senior has grown a lot on and off the field since his prep days down South, where he grew up rooting for Florida State, his older sister's alma mater. Now standing 6-foot-4 and checking in at 219 pounds, Williams is a load at wide receiver and the active leader among ACC players for career touchdowns with 15. He is anxious to show off his talents against a UCF secondary that he knows will test the Pack receivers physically.

"It's going to be a real physical secondary and we know that," he said. "They play a lot of man and we're ready. We'll have to be alert on our routes and crisp with what we are doing on the field."

Williams hauled in two catches for 37 yards in the season opener. He didn't play the entire game since the Pack had the game well in hand by halftime, but he was happy to see the emergence of junior understudy T.J. Graham. Williams said that just makes the offense more lethal and opponents will have to guess on which receiver to stop because there are too many offensive weapons for a defense to stop them all.

"That's just another guy that they have to worry about," he said. "Now, there's a threat everywhere on our offensive side."

The dangerous aerial attack is something that the Pack will have to rely heavily upon when they enter enemy territory at Bright House Networks Stadium. Williams is one of the few Pack players who has seen the stadium before and he warns that it is an intimidating host for visitors.

"That's the main thing our coaches told us, that it's going to be real loud, so to practice like we can't hear anything on the field," he said. "We have to know our signals and signs, we have to know our plays. You probably aren't going to be able to hear out there on the field with the crowd that is coming at us, it's going to be to their advantage."

Williams is also one of a handful of Pack players who played against Central Florida in 2007, coach Tom O'Brien's first season in Raleigh. Williams actually led the way for all current players by appearing in 19 plays during that contest. Fellow receivers Owen Spencer and Darrell Davis, defensive end Audi Augustin, linebacker Nate Irving and special teamer Corey Tedder are the other players who saw the field against the Knights three years ago and are still on the Pack's roster. However, Williams does not see any value in looking into the past although he knows that the Knights will again make it a tough and physical battle.

"That's way back, they've got a whole new secondary and everything like that," he said.

The offense performed well against Western Carolina, picking up a total of 480 yards, but Williams contends that there is still plenty of progress to be made in 2010.

"We aren't exactly where we want to be but we're just happy to be playing somebody other than our defense," he said. "We know it's time to get focused and play this week."

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