Seldom used in 2008, redshirt sophomore James Williams appeared to take advantage of spring drills more than any other offensive lineman, exiting the Black and Gold scrimmage as a likely starter at right tackle. Brandon Barca caught up with the 6-6, 315-pound Smyrna High product during preseason camp earlier this week.
James, how is camp going so far?
"It's going pretty good. We're working hard everyday. Our mentality is to get better each day at practice."
Coach Johnson mentioned that it's a very experienced offensive line right now and you are one of the younger guys trying to break through. Is experience and confidence the difference?
"Yeah, I think it's a challenge but it also makes me better. It makes me want to work harder to get to where they are since they played all of last year."
Is the competition factor in your head as you try to win the starting right tackle job?
"Yes, definitely. I am trying to not make any mistakes and am working as hard as I possibly can."
Talk a little about what you think you need to work on this preseason and what you think you need to get better in order to help this team.
"Just working on being more physical and finishing plays by putting them on the ground. I would say that's the biggest thing. I need to be more solid on pass protection as well."
You're a local kid from Smyrna, as well as Adam Smotherman on the other side of the line. Talk about that relationship.
"It's fun. Sometimes I don't realize that I am going against him but it's fun reliving those high school moments."
Is it a good test for you going against an experienced defensive line in practice everyday?
"Yes, I have been going against Steven Stone ever since I was on the scout team on day one of my freshman year."
You had some good moments against Stone in drills the other day. That has to feel good as far as your progression?
"Definitely. It shows how far I have come since I arrived here. I just need to keep working."
"He is a great coach and he knows exactly what we need to do in order to get better. He sees everything on film like our steps off the ball. He wants us to be the best we can be. He keeps it loose out there and jokes around sometimes but he knows when to get serious."