Garrick Williams Providing Veteran Leadership on Offensive Line
Aug. 11, 2012
By Scott Wortman, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest wrapped up its first week of preseason practice on Saturday evening at the Doc Martin Football Complex, as the Demon Deacons donned full pads and sloshed through a soaked field following heavy rains earlier in the day.
Just three weeks out from its season opener against Liberty on Sept. 1, Wake Forest put the finishing touches on a solid first week of preparations.
For senior center Garrick Williams, the lone returning starter on the Deacons' offensive line, this preseason has been a stark contrast from that of 2011 when he was the newcomer to a veteran line. Williams earned the starting center spot during spring practice in 2011, joining a unit in which he was flanked by four returning starters.
Now, after starting 12 games last season, Williams is the returning veteran trying to mentor a relatively inexperienced offensive line.
"Everybody is starting to come together on the o-line and things are starting to click for the younger guys," said Williams. "We're starting to come together as a unit and continue to grow as a team.
"The biggest difference is that I have four new guys with me this year. They are all trying to learn what they're doing, and everybody is trying to feel each other out. Coming in last year, I was the inexperienced guy, and now I'm the guy mentoring everybody else, so it's kind of a flip of roles."
Williams and tackle Steven Chase are the only players on the 2012 roster to have started a game on the offensive line. However, Chase recently tore his ACL, leaving sophomore Colin Summers as the next most-experienced lineman. Summers played in 12 games last year, seeing action on 133 snaps as the backup guard.
Converted defensive lineman Frank Souza also has significant game experience, albeit on the opposite side of the ball, but has impressed early on in his transition to the offensive line.
Sophomore guard Antonio Ford will be looked upon to play a larger role this season after appearing in four games and serving as the primary backup at left guard a year ago.
As the Deacons move closer to the season opener, how the offensive line develops should prove to be one of the biggest storylines to watch.
Wake Forest will return to the practice field on Monday for its first two-a-day session of the summer. The Deacons' first preseason scrimmage is scheduled for Thursday morning at BB&T Field.