Improvement Through Change
Nov. 18, 2009
LOGAN, Utah -
By Chet Gardner / USU Athletic Media Relations
When it comes to football, about the only constant for Aggie senior linebacker Chris Williams is change. As Williams moved from high school to junior college to now at Utah State, he has changed positions often, especially here at USU.
Aggie linebacker coach Kevin Clune admires Williams' ability to go through changes.
"We've moved him to just about every position so far. He's played defensive end; he's played safety, he's played linebacker and he's done a great job getting better each week. He's taken the responsibility to just grab hold of it and he's really done a good job," Clune said.
When the Aggie senior was playing prep football at Leuzinger High School in California and then at El Camino Junior College, he mostly played safety and cornerback. He has now found a home at outside linebacker at Utah State.
"It's more of a natural position. Coming out of high school, I played safety and corner. When I came here I thought my natural position would be outside linebacker. I'm liking it and I'm comfortable there," Williams said of his current position.
The Aggie linebacker is an upbeat, happy guy who points to a personal theme he has had while here at USU to help him deal with whatever comes his way.
"It's in Psalms (of the Bible), and it talks about being in the right path and being righteous and just doing the little things right. That is something that I have based this whole year around; doing the little things and trying to better myself, and becoming more successful as an individual and try to spread it to the rest of my teammates," Williams said.
His personal theme has not only helped him and others do the little things right on the field, but maybe more so off the field. Williams has been a model citizen in the community.
"Community service is something that I like to do most. I enjoy doing it and especially representing the university. Last year, it was mandatory for us to get a certain amount of hours, but I loved it. After that I was like when do you need me, what time? A lot of people look at you like you're a larger than life kid, and it's really something that you can use to influence them to follow that right path and go outside the box," Williams stated enthusiastically.
Another change that Williams points to as a big turning point in his USU football playing career happened in the weight room during spring workouts. It came after he had been struggling to put on weight that coaches felt like he needed to put on to be better at the linebacker position.
"I just got done putting on that weight that I desperately needed, and I just had one of the best times in the weight room that I've had. I always thought that I was the one under-achieving in the weight room and now it seemed like I was at that point where I was really confident and put the weight on. I don't know what it was but I was surprised at myself. My max increased so much. That moment right there was when I knew it was time to go and translate it onto the field," Williams described.
Although Williams is the type of guy who doesn't care if people notice the type of things he does off of the field, the coaches are taking notice.
"All I can say is he's been squared away in all the aspects of his life. I deal with him a lot regarding his academics, and he's on top of all that stuff and the same with football, on and off the field. He's been great as far as just taking care of business. Every time I ask him something, he's got an answer for me. He's on top of his stuff," Clune said.
Like many, Williams is feeling much different now that he is in his senior year.
"It's definitely not just another year. I feel like this year I've dedicated more of myself to actually becoming a better player. This is my senior year and I've got to give my all, I've really got to dig in for these last few games," he said.
Williams tried to describe what it might feel like to step out onto the field for his last couple games.
"I think it'll be pretty emotional, especially because that's just the way I play. I play with reckless abandon and that's why I get hurt a lot. I'll be emotional and I'll be thinking about how this time next year I'll probably be in a whole different setting. I'll just enjoy every part of it," the Aggie senior said.
Williams missed much of his junior season with injury. He had a personal season-high with two tackles against Utah in his junior season. So far this season, he has topped that with a new personal best with three tackles at Fresno State.
Williams is planning on graduating this summer in sports administration. He would like to pursue football, but if that doesn't work out he would like to pursue a job involving sports marketing.
Williams and his 14 fellow seniors will be honored prior to Friday night's game vs. Boise State, currently ranked No. 6 in the AP and BCS Polls. Boise State will be the highest-ranked team to visit Romney Stadium since No. 6 Oregon played USU on Sept. 29, 2001.
Friday's game will be nationally-televised on ESPN2 and will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. It will be the first-ever visit to Logan by the ESPN network for a football game.
For USU football ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.