September 23, 2011

Williams excited to catch passes for Michigan

Cincinnati (Ohio) Sycamore tight end A.J. Williams is strictly a blocker in high school. At offensive tackle for the Aves, he's had a successful season paving the road for Sycamore's skill players.

When he gets to the next level, Williams will move back to tight end, and add a receiving threat to his repertoire. Since he hasn't caught any passes this year, that will take a bit of adjusting.

The opportunity to play tight end, rather than offensive line, was one of the reasons that Williams pledged to Michigan. Some schools, including West Virginia and Tennessee, offered him a scholarship to play offensive line, but he wanted the opportunity to make plays at the next level.

With limited film available, Williams's camp performances were crucial in convincing coaches that he could be a pass-catcher in college. He has impressive athleticism for his size (6-6, 265), and can reel in the ball with his soft hands.

While his hands are adept at catching the football, Williams plans to put them to another use following the season. An avid fisherman, he plans to travel to Georgia following the football season and try his luck at "noodling" - catching catfish with his bare hands.

Williams isn't afraid of the possible dangers in noodling, either. Despite expecting to receive passes at the next level, he isn't afraid of the risk for a catfish bite.

Surely Brady Hoke will appreciate the fearlessness. He would also prefer his incoming tight end to arrive intact. The departure of Chris Barnett prior to the 2011 season means that playing time is available as a true freshman.

Williams knows he still has work to do if he wants to be a freshman contributor, but is ready to put in the effort.

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