Oklahoma football: Damien Williams sees familiar faces in Norman

Sooner's new teammates include hometown rival Brennan Clay and junior-college opponent Lacoltan Bester.
by Jason Kersey Published: August 28, 2012

Bester and Williams had never met before the East Mississippi team showed up in Yuma, Ariz., to play No. 1 Arizona Western in its home stadium for the championship.

One of Williams' teammates knew Bester, so the two junior-college stars, completely unaware they'd be teammates months later, were introduced.

The championship game began with East Mississippi's offensive firing on all cylinders and grabbing a 27-0 first-half lead on No. 1 Arizona Western.

Williams finally got his Matadors on the board with a 53-yard touchdown run late in the half.

Despite two second-half touchdown grabs by Williams and a major comeback effort, East Mississippi's early lead proved insurmountable.

Though they're now friends and teammates, Bester can't help but talk a little smack about the game.

“Every time I put my rings on, we joke around about it,” Bester said. “He says he hopes I lose them or something like that. But it's all fun.”

Now, the two former rivals each have an opportunity to immediately contribute as teammates in pursuit of a championship.

Williams, despite adjusting to an entirely new offense, has learned fast and will likely get a significant number of touches in the Sooners' 2012 season opener at UTEP on Saturday. He and Clay are the primary options off the bench for starter Dominique Whaley, who returns from last season's severe ankle injury.

“I'm really excited,” Williams said. “Coming from a junior college, there really is an adjustment with the speed and the size, but it's still football.”

Bester (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) was competing for a starting role until Justin Brown transferred from Penn State. But Bester is still expected to be a regular in the receiver rotation.

“Wanting to get on the field and wanting to start is everybody's dream,” Bester said. “But just being able to play for a program like this is a great opportunity, so it doesn't matter if I start. I feel like I can still get my share of snaps. I'm gonna take advantage of every opportunity. When my name is called, I'll be ready to play.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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