Sylvester Williams         DT        North Carolina   Interior defensive linemen who aligns head up over OC (offensive center) at the nose tackle position, 3-tech and in the A-gap (between the OC and OG) or 1-tech. Has the size and athletic ability to be very disruptive in the box, with good first-step quickness in his get-off. Flashed strong UOH (use of hands) technique and will need further development in hand combat, but uses arm over, double armbar bull, arm under and flashed explosive punch. Good athlete with short-area burst; narrow base forces him to get pushed off balance at times, which makes stacking POA (point of attack) inconsistent. I like this player’s toughness, though competitiveness is spotty. Yet, he has all the tools to be a dominant player. Good eyes to key and diagnose; sifts through traffic, locates and, if near, will blow up ball carrier. A collision tackler who leaves feet and makes plays in and around the box. Chase and pursuit is limited despite good lateral movement. Softli – First-round talent;  second-round pick.

 

SYLVESTER WILLIAMS

Defensive Tackle

University of North Carolina Tar Heels

#92

6:02.6-313

Jefferson City, Missouri

Coffeyville Community College

Jefferson City High School

 

OVERVIEW

Williams is one of those “feel good” stories that has seen a relative unknown with minimal football experience become a reluctant factory worker, only to get one last chance on the gridiron at a junior college. The defensive linemen, with just one year of organized football under his belt, would go on to start every game during the course of four seasons that took him to two college campuses before completion.

 

After trying out for the Jefferson High School football team in 2007, the 310-pound senior made the team and was tutored on the techniques for becoming a defensive lineman. The Jays would compile an 8-2 record and rank 12th in the state of Missouri while capturing the Freelance Football League title. But, after his only prep season, Williams thought his football career had ended, as he did not even get a “nibble” from small college recruiters.

 

After nearly dropping out of high school because he wasn’t going to class, he joined the work force. But after working at a factory, the Modine Manufacturing Company, whose products include vehicle radiators, for a while after barely graduating “life had to be better than this,” so the youngster thought.

 

Williams was encouraged by friends to attend a football game at the University of Kansas. He saw players that matched his size and strength and decided that he would give foot-ball one more chance. After all, tossing aside offensive linemen seemed more glamorous that toting around car radiators all day, he assumed.

 

His high school coach, Ted LePage, knew that Williams had the ability to be a success on the field, but the player needed to dedicate to the game and work hard on honing his mechanics, and not take a similar route he did when it came to the classroom.

 

Williams decided to enroll at Coffeyville Community College, where he walked on to the football team. Head coach Darian Dulan saw a raw talent with natural ability. Rather than bring his “project” along slowly, Williams was “thrown to the wolves” and started all ten regular season games in 2009. He slowly got into playing shape and started to develop the skills that in three seasons would make him one of the better interior linemen in the 2013 NFL Draft pool.

 

The 2009 season saw Williams record 39 tackles, as he got to the quarterback five times and made seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. Rather than see Williams become complacent with his new-found success, the coaches put him through the rigors through-out the offseason, toning his body and replacing “baby fat” with muscle.

 

When the sophomore stepped on the field in 2010, those college recruiters that never had him on their “radar” before were now coming to games in Kansas. Williams put on a show, as the run stuffer made 11.5 stops-for-loss that included a pair of sacks to go with 49 tackles, four quarterback pressures and a quartet of blocked kicks.

 

Postseason honors soon followed, as Williams was named All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference first-team and All-American honorable mention. He was rated the 12th-best player in the junior college ranks by Sports Illustrated and received a four-star prospect grade from Scout.com. Super Prep regarded him as the 14th-best overall prospect at the junior college level.

 

With several major colleges pursuing him, Williams decided to accept a scholarship offer from the University of North Carolina. Decimated by personnel losses and injuries in 2010, Carolina’s defense was struggling for an identity entering 2011 fall camp. Their coach, Butch Davis, was abruptly dismissed and in July, Everett Withers was named the interim coach. Much like the staff did with Williams at Coffeyville, Withers did not hesitate to put his junior college recruit into the starting lineup immediately.

 

The weak-side defensive tackle would remain with the first unit for all of his 25 games on the field for the Tar Heels over the next two years. UNC trudged to a 7-6 record during Williams’ first year with the team, but he was one of just four players on the roster to start every game that season. Hard work began to pay off for the junior, as he was the recipient of the team’s Jeffrey Cowell Memorial Award, given to the Outstanding First-Year Player- for defense in 2011.

 

His junior season saw Williams finish fifth on the team with 54 tackles. Of his 23 solo stops, seven came behind the line of scrimmage, including a trio of sacks. Three of his quarterback pressures caused interceptions and he also caused a fumble and had one interception. Hard work, perseverance – words that became Williams’ mantra during the 2012 off-season led to greater rewards as a senior.

 

Withers was replaced as head coach by Larry Fedora for Williams’ final campaign, but the new staff knew they had a leader on the front wall in #92. He would not only prove them right, but he gained national attention for his hard work, as he was selected All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team. The weak-side tackle ranked second on the team and eighth in the league with six sacks, placing sixth in the ACC with 13.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as he also posted 42 tackles with six pressures.

 

Late in the season, one of the most important calls came into the UNC football office. Phil Savage, director of the prestigious Senior Bowl wanted Williams to suit up and play in the 2013 contest. From nary a nibble by recruiters in 2007 to play with the best of the best in college football before embarking on a professional career? Those radiators back at the

Modine Manufacturing Company are now a distant memory.

 

Williams arrived in Mobile, Alabama for Senior Bowl practices in late January, knowing this was one last opportunity to impress NFL decision makers in a game situation. He would further impress them with his athletic ability a month later at the NFL Scouting Combine, but here in Mobile, he had offensive linemen to battle with.

 

While it appears that Williams has some girth on his large frame, he has solid muscle tone in his lower body, with a good bubble and wide hips. He has broad shoulders and big hands (10 ½-inch width), along with a frame that can carry additional bulk, if some team prefers him as a zero-gap type.

 

Williams is the type that will surprise a lethargic blocker, as he is an athlete with above average quickness (timed at 5.03 seconds in the 40-yard dash), agility and initial quickness. He shows good balance on the move, and does a nice job of combating low blocks when linemen try to take the legs out from under him. In the short area, he has the burst to close, but his timed speed also translates to the field in long pursuit, evident by his eleven pressures at UNC, where eight of them came from around the corners.

 

When Williams stays low in his pads, he gains leverage and shows strength and explosion coming off the snap. For a player of his size, he has a very good first step off the snap. He can gain advantage and possesses suddenness getting to the gaps. He is very quick with his feet to get a good push into the blocker, and when working down the line, he shows above average movement skills and balance.

 

Williams has above average strength to lock up and enough quickness to combine with his power to make explosive tackles. When he attacks a ball carrier, he punishes them. He stays low in his pads, extends his arms and is very effective to wrap up. He is a strong inside run defender who can make plays up and down the line of scrimmage, and more often than not, he will hustle to chase in space.

 

Williams was often matched against double teams and when that happened, he did a very nice job of anchoring and holding ground at the point of attack, as uses his hands to protect his legs. With his great hand shed ability, blockers found it very difficult when they tried to lock him up and try to stall him out. When working one-on-one, he will flash the ability to stack.

 

The defensive tackle shows effective swim & rip ability and good suddenness off the ball. He is more of a power-oriented type than one who would finesse. Because of highly efficient hand protection skills, he is not the type that will have to spend any time on the ground or be concerned about being chop-blocked. It is his strength and urgency in his play that allows him to gain consistent penetration.

 

CAREER NOTES

Williams started all 45 games during his entire college career, compiling 184 tackles (84 solos) with 15.5 sacks for minus 89 yards, 39.0 stops for losses of 141 yards and fifteen quarterback pressures through 45 contests, as he also had an interception, a forced fumble and five pass deflections…During his time at Coffeyville College, he started 20 times, delivering 88 tackles (40 solos), seven sacks, 18.5 stops for minus 54 yards and four blocked kicks…After transferring to North Carolina, he recorded 96 tackles (44 solos) in 25 games, adding 8.5 sacks, eleven pressures, 20.5 stops for losses totaling 87 yards, three pass deflections and one interception.

 

2012 SEASON

Williams earned All-American first-team honors from Pro Football Weekly, adding third-team accolades from The NFL Draft Report…Was also an All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice by the league’s coaches, Phil Steele and the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association…Started all twelve games at weak-side defensive tackle, ranking eighth in the league in sacks (0.50 spg) and sixth in tackles-for-loss (1.13 pg), as he registered 42 tackles (21 solos) that included six sacks for minus 40 yards, 13.5 stops for losses of 50 yards and six quarterback pressures…Played through an ankle sprain midway through the season, but ended the year with several outstanding performances…Had two tackles and a tackle for loss vs. Maryland…A week earlier, had a spectacular game on national television at Virginia, with a career-high eight stops, two tackles for losses and a 10-yard sack…Made three tackles and a stop for loss vs. Georgia Tech…Registered seven tackles and 1.5 stops for losses in a victory over North Carolina State…Posted four stops at Duke and made two tackles in a win at Miami…Assisted on a sack and added three tackles in a victory over Virginia Tech…Produced 2.5 tackles for losses and a sack in a shutout win vs. Idaho…Was in on four tackles vs. East Carolina and had two tackles, including one for a loss at Louisville…Assisted on a sack at Wake Forest and collected two tackles for losses of 12 yards as the Tar Heels shut out Elon, 65-0.

 

2011 SEASON

Williams was one of four UNC defensive players to start all thirteen games, as the junior weak-side defensive tackle finished with 54 tackles (23 solos), fifth-best on the team… Added seven stops for losses of 37 yards and 2.5 sacks for minus 22 yards, along with five quarterback hurries, three pass break-ups, one forced fumble and one interception… Had six tackles and assisted on a tackle for loss vs. Missouri in the Independence Bowl… Assisted on a tackle for loss and broke up a pass in a 37-21 win over Duke…Added six tackles, including a sack on the first play from scrimmage, in a close loss at Virginia Tech, as he sacked Logan Thomas and forced a fumble that the Tar Heels recovered…Made six tackles and had two quarterback hurries at North Carolina State…Registered six tackles, including a 10-yard sack, and had a quarterback pressure in a 59-38 loss to Clemson… Posted five tackles, 1.5 for loss and a half sack, in a 30-24 loss to Miami…Recorded six tackles, including two for losses of 13 yards and a 10-yard sack, and broke up a pass in a 14-7 victory over Louisville…Delivered a season-high seven tackles in a loss at Georgia Tech…Had one of his best games of the season with five tackles and a fumble recovery in a 28-17 victory vs. Virginia…Posted one tackle, broke up a pass and had a quarterback pressure in a 24-22 victory vs. Rutgers, as Carolina limited the Scarlet Knights to just one yard rushing, the fewest by an opponent since 2000.

 

JUNIOR COLLEGE

Williams attended Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, playing football for head coach Darian Dulin from 2009-10 after joining the team as a walk-on…As a freshman, he started all ten regular season games in 2009, recording 39 tackles (23 solos), as he got to the quarterback five times for minus 17 yards and made seven stops behind the line of scrimmage for losses totaling 26 yards…As a sophomore in 2010, Williams put on a show, as the run stuffer made 11.5 stops-for-loss (minus 28 yards) that included a pair of sacks (minus 10 yards) to go with 49 tackles (17 solos), four quarterback pressures and a quartet of blocked kicks…In 2009, he was an honorable mention All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference choice, adding first-team honors as a sophomore…In 2010, he was named All-American honorable mention…Rated the 12th-best player in the junior college ranks by Sports Illustrated and received a four-star prospect grade from Scout.com… Super Prep regarded him as the 14th-best overall prospect at the junior college level.

 

INJURY REPORT

2012 Season…Williams played through an ankle sprain midway through the season, but ended the year with several outstanding performances.

 

AGILITY TESTS

5.03 in the 40-yard dash…1.78 10-yard dash…2.81 20-yard dash…4.80 20-yard shuttle…

7.93 three-cone drill…26 ½-inch vertical jump…8’6” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands…78 3/8-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Williams attended Jefferson City (Mo.) High School, but the defensive tackle only played one season of football, in 2007…Helped head coach Ted LePage lead the Jays to an 8-2 record, as they finished ranked 12th in the state.

 

PERSONAL

Communications major…Son of Sylvester Williams Sr…Born 11/21/88…Resides in Jefferson, City, Missouri.

 

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK PRES
2009 10 10 039 023 016  00  00  0-0  07.0-26   00  05.0-17    00
2010 10 10 049 017 032  00  01  0-0  11.5-28   02  02.0-10    04
2011 13 13 054 023 031  00  01  1-0  07.0-37   03  02.5-22    05
2012 12 12 042 021 021  00  00  0-0  13.5-50   00  06.0-40    06
TOTAL 25 25 096 044 052  00  01  1-0  20.5-87   03  08.5-62    11
Above statistics are for University of North Carolina career
TOTAL 20 20 088 040 048  00  01  0-0  18.5-54   02  07.0-27    04
Above statistics are for Coffeyville Community College career
TOTAL 45 45 184 084 100 00  02  1-0  39.0-141   05  15.5-89    15
Above statistics are for complete college career

 

WILLIAMS GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Elon 09/01/12 Elon 62-0

Yes

0

2

0

2

12

0

2

12

0

0

0

Wake Forest 09/08/12 at Wake Forest 27-28

Yes

1

0

1

0

3

1

0

3

0

0

0

Louisville 09/15/12 at Louisville 34-39

Yes

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

East Carolina 09/22/12 East Carolina 27-6

Yes

2

2

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

2

Idaho 09/29/12 Idaho 66-0

Yes

2

2

1

2

10

0

1

8

0

0

0

Virginia Tech 10/06/12 Virginia Tech 48-34

Yes

2

1

2

0

6

1

0

6

0

0

1

Miami (FL) 10/13/12 at Miami (FL) 18-14

Yes

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Duke 10/20/12 at Duke 30-33

Yes

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Carolina St. 10/27/12 North Carolina St. 43-35

Yes

5

2

1

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

Georgia Tech 11/10/12 Georgia Tech 50-68

Yes

1

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Virginia 11/15/12 at Virginia 37-13

Yes

5

3

0

2

12

0

1

10

0

0

0

Maryland 11/24/12 Maryland 45-38

Yes

0

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

Season Totals

21

21

5

11

50

2

5

40

0

0

6

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

James Madison 09/03/11 James Madison 42-10

Yes

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rutgers 09/10/11 Rutgers 24-22

Yes

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Virginia 09/17/11 Virginia 28-17

Yes

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia Tech 09/24/11 at Georgia Tech 28-35

Yes

0

0

0

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

East Carolina 10/01/11 at East Carolina 35-20

Yes

1

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Louisville 10/08/11 Louisville 14-7

Yes

0

0

0

3

3

0

2

13

0

1

10

1

0

0

Miami (FL) 10/15/11 Miami (FL) 24-30

Yes

0

0

0

1

4

1

1

5

1

0

4

0

0

0

Clemson 10/22/11 at Clemson 38-59

Yes

0

0

0

1

5

0

1

10

0

0

0

0

0

1

Wake Forest 10/29/11 Wake Forest 49-24

Yes

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Carolina St. 11/05/11 at NCSU 0-13

Yes

0

0

0

5

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

Virginia Tech 11/17/11 at Virginia Tech 21-24

Yes

0

0

0

4

2

0

1

8

0

1

8

0

1

0

Duke 11/26/11 Duke 37-21

Yes

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Missouri 12/26/11 Missouri 24-41

Yes

0

0

0

2

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

1

0

0

31

23

4

5

37

1

2

22

3

1

5

 

Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of the NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com & Tony Softli Draft Board; Distributed by Scouting Services, Inc. © Copyright 2012/13 – All Rights Reserved; Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Scouting Services Inc. is strictly prohibited.