20 July 2008
| Chavis Williams - #55 – LB – 6-4 – 220 lbs. – Dora, AL – Dora HS – 1 Varsity Letter
The 2nd year development of Chavis Williams
might be the most important factor in determining the success of Alabama’s defense. He’ll be replacing medically disqualified Senior Zeke Knight
and his 11 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks.
Chavis played in 8 of Bama’s 13 games in 2007, and recorded only 2 tackles. With the SAM Linebacker position appearing to be his job to lose, there has to be a tremendous amount of development from him for Bama to have plays from the outside.
That’s a lot to put on Chavis. Zeke’s
inability to play and the ineffectiveness from the JACK position are not his fault. But it would not be a stretch to say that there are more expectations placed on him by both fans and coaches than the guys set to play at the JACK.
Sometimes a player’s athleticism is so striking that it changes the perception of his production. When researching this I was quite frankly shocked to find that Chavis had only 2 tackles last season. When he got time on the field he was seemingly always right around the ball, and that trait is likely why there is optimism surrounding his 2008 season.
The fact that he played in 8 games as a true freshman indicate the talent and athleticism that Chavis possesses. His lack of production in those 8 games was due to a lack of real opportunity, with Knight logging the vast majority of snaps at the position, and the fact that the SAM Linebacker was usually pulled from the field when the Tide went to the Nickel package.
We have his weight listed at 220 lbs., but hopefully that number has increased. Power running teams took advantage of Knight’s
lack of size at times last year, and he was listed at 235. It is not essential that Chavis get up to 250, but somewhere close to 230 would be greatly beneficial. His speed and overall athleticism are his 2 best attributes, so he can likely make up for a slight size deficiency.
He’ll be pushed early and often by the incoming freshmen linebackers, specifically Jerrell Harris
. Competition at a position typically pushes all players involved to improve or be left behind. How ready to play Harris
is could be key not just for depth at the position, but for how hard Chavis is pushed.
How much weight he has gained will likely also dictate how much he can play. The lighter he is, the more he will have to be spelled. There is some depth at the position, though Eryk Anders
has very little experience & Cory Reamer
is likely to spend most of his time at the WILL Linebacker spot.
Look for Chavis to be the starter at the SAM in the Clemson game. Harris
is a unique talent and won’t be kept off of the field for long. Regardless, Chavis is too athletic to not be on the field, and whether he splits time or not, expect to see a lot of #55 on the field in 2008.