Williams finding spot on field for BCS title game
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007
COLUMBUS — At the start of the season, Marcus Williams just wanted a place on the roster.
Now he has a place on the field.
When the BCS championship game begins Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., against the Florida Gators, Williams could very well be on the field for the opening kickoff.
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The former All-Ohio running back and defensive back for the Ironton Fighting Tigers made the Ohio State Buckeyes team last spring as a walk-on.
But Williams has played so well throughout the season that he has earned a spot on the Ohio State kickoff team. Still, the thought of being in the championship game hasn’t become a reality.
“It’s like I’m living a dream. When the time comes closer, I’ll think about it, but for right now it’s just another game,” Williams said.
In last spring’s Scarlet-Gray scrimmage, Williams got in the game as a defensive back. With injuries and roster changes, Williams has been moved to the offensive side as a running back.
His effort with the scout team earned him a chance to play on the scout special teams, and being named the scout team special teams’ Player of the Week four times helped him move into a spot on the regular kickoff team.
The first real sign Williams would get to make the trip to any bowl game and play was the week of the Buckeyes game at Northwestern.
“At fist, I was not really figuring to be on any team, but I stayed optimistic,” Williams said. “Half way through the year I was on the scout team and I was blocking punts in practice. That’s when they started noticing me.”
Williams not only made the trip to Northwestern but he dressed and played on special teams.
Williams attributes his success to the Ironton football program.
“I was surprised. I thought I’d be embarrassed, but I did OK and that’s a tribute to the Ironton program,” Williams said.
At Ironton, Williams was not only a good runner and special teams player, but he was known even more for his crunching blocks as the lead blocker for the other backs.
When he was moved to running back for the Buckeyes, he said he had to make adjustments including trying to block bigger defenders.
“I realized I had to be real fast hitting the hole, but I had to be patient and let the hole open. The linemen are good and they’ll give you a hole,” Williams said.
“I take the same approach as high school with blocking, but I had to learn how to cut real fast.”
Williams said he has had to adjust to the faster game, but he feels confident he can compete. He attributed some of his adjustment to advice from junior center Tyler Whaley, a former teammate at Ironton.
“He keeps me ahead of what we’re going to do. He lets me know what to expect and what to do. He told me to always be ready and to work hard,” Williams said.
So far, Williams has worked hard and stayed ready. And he said he’ll be ready when the Buckeyes face Florida Monday for the national championship.
“I can’t wait. It’s going to be exciting,” Williams said.