Oklahoma football: Daryl Williams takes over Gabe Ikard's leadership role

“With Gabe leaving I have to lead by example and vocally. It’s a change, but I can do it for my team. If that’s what my coaches want and what my teammates want, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
by Ryan Aber Published: August 24, 2014

NORMAN — A light switch went off for Daryl Williams sometime after the Sugar Bowl.

It wasn’t that Oklahoma’s starting right tackle wasn’t good last year. He was.

It wasn’t that he failed to be a leader on the offensive line last year. He was that, too.

But with Gabe Ikard departing, Williams understood his role needed to expand.

“Since Gabe left, of course I have to step in,” he said. “I’m a guy that leads by example. With Gabe leaving I have to lead by example and vocally. It’s a change, but I can do it for my team. If that’s what my coaches want and what my teammates want, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Sooners offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is effusive in his praise for Williams.

“It’s the best spring I’ve ever seen from an offensive lineman,” Bedenbaugh said. “The way he practiced, the way he played, the way he went through every week — just assignment, technique, fundamentals. The guy doesn’t make mistakes.”

After the spring, Williams and Bedenbaugh met and Williams laid out his goals for the season.

Big 12 championship. National championship. First-team All-Big 12. Outland Trophy Award winner. First-round draft pick.

“Those are my expectations,” Williams said.

Bedenbaugh was encouraged.

“He’s got high expectations, which I really like,” Bedenbaugh said. “Some guys, you kind of want to temper their goals and their expectations, but his are legitimate, reachable goals.”

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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