UNI's Williams set for big season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI's Williams set for big season

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -  Just by taking the field, UNI senior Xavier Williams makes the entire Panther defense better.

"If he's not double teamed, he's making the play,” says defensive line Coach Bryce Paup, “When he gets double teamed, the linebackers make the play."

Known as the X-Man, Williams recorded 12 tackles for loss last season, just one year after picking up just 2 as a sophomore. If you ask him what caused that improvement, he'll tell you it was the chance to play for an NFL veteran and former league defensive MVP.

"Paup coming here, helping me out, took my game to a whole new level, somewhere I never thought I'd be," says Williams.

Bryce Paup joined the UNI staff last season bringing the knowledge of an 11 year playing career in the NFL. He loves what he's seen from Xavier Williams both on and off the field.

"He's a good kid. He mentors the young kids on the D-line,” says Paup, “If I'm coaching someone else, and he sees something, he'll turn around and start coaching the young guys behind him."

That's a responsibility Williams takes seriously, making not just himself better, but making everyone better.

As for his own improvement, he's down 35 pounds from a year ago, is faster and stronger, and it's all in an effort to be the best come the season opener.

"I know there's things I've got to keep working on,” says Williams, “Paup is going to help me with that. He's going to make sure I stay focused obviously, but I'm trying to have fun, get as good as I can, and get prepared for the season."
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