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'Whatever I can do': How Tre' Williams fits in at Auburn
Oct. 16, 2014

Auburn's Tre' Williams makes the play against Louisiana Tech

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Tre' Williams is an Auburn freshman linebacker who understands. 

His turn will come, he figures, but until then, until he's a regular in the linebacker rotation, he'll do whatever it takes to get on the field.

Punt return, kickoff return, kickoffs. He's on those special teams. Punt team. He's ready.

Oh, he gets in at linebacker, too, and started against LSU in place of an injured Kris Frost, but if he has to wait a little more, now that the Tigers moved Justin Garrett from the Star position to linebacker, he'll also play through that. There's still time to impress, halfway through the season, and in this bye week when Auburn is again taking a long look at younger players.

"They brought Justin over just to get a little quickness in that linebacker spot," Williams says. "I'm a freshman. That's not an excuse, but he's an older guy. He has more experience. During those big-time games, they’re going to put them in. I'm going to do whatever I can do to get on the field. If that means being the best special-teams player, then I'll be that."

Auburn didn't waste any time playing Williams, who played high school ball at St. Paul's Episcopal in Mobile.

"It’s always a dream," he said.

Still, "Once I got here, I had to get with reality real quick."

Strength coach Ryan Russell made that so.

"Coach Russell pushed us to the limit."

That was tough, Williams said, but he said he would ask him himself, "'what can I do to make this team better?' That helps me progress every day. I came in knowing that I had to do something different. If that was stepping back and letting the older guys teach me something, then that’s what I did. Whatever I have to do to get on the field."

Williams has 11 tackles, tops among the freshmen. He's also picking up some pointers along the way.

"I'm learning from the older guys — if I don’t play that much this year, it’s definitely going to get me ready for next year. 

"There's no choice — I have to just step back and try to observe everything. Being shocked and nervous, there's no more time for that. I have to step up and grow up and do what I have to."

He's also following coach Gus Malzahn's way.

"Coach doesn't want us looking too far ahead because then we'll start overlooking little things that makes us a great team," Williams said. "We’re focused on coming together and building up what we started. He doesn't want us to lose focus just because we had that one loss." 

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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