Athleticism of OU signee Damon Williams developed on hoops court

By David Ubben, Staff Writer, dubben@opubco.com Published: February 3, 2010

NORMAN — Damon Williams often spent summers playing basketball on a traveling team growing up, developing athletic ability uncommon on most 300-pound defensive tackles.

"He'll make a tackle on the sideline just as often as he will up the middle," said, Steven Hohenberger, his high school coach at Nimitz in Irving, Texas.

And Williams, who stands 6-4, became the No. 35 defensive tackle prospect in the country without ever taking part in any formal conditioning program.

"Early on, he's going to get stronger and bigger fast," Hohenberger said.

One of Williams' best attributes is his on-field intelligence and ability to sniff out draws and screen passes.

"He recognizes things, picks up on them," Hohenberger said. "He's very football savvy."

With senior Adrian Taylor returning and former blue-chip recruit sophomore Jamarkus McFarland in line to replace Gerald McCoy, Williams will try to earn playing time with three other incoming defensive tackles in this year's class.