Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 47, the number once worn by WVU linebacker, Reed Williams.
Originally from Moorefield, WV, Williams spent five seasons as a member of the WVU football program, from 2005 to 2009. In 53 appearances for the Mountaineers, Williams recorded 254 career tackles, eight sacks, seven forced fumbles, and two interceptions.
Williams finished his career as one of the more decelerated athletes to have worn the old Gold and Blue being named to the CoSIDA academic All-America team twice in his career(first team 07; second team 09), and was a recipient of the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award (2009). He was also named the defensive MVP of the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
In his freshman season, Williams appeared in 11 of the team’s 12 games, recording only five tackles in mostly special teams roles. The team won the Big East conference championship with a perfect 7-0 record in league play, and earned a bid to the 2006 Nokia Sugar Bowl to play the #8 Georgia Bulldogs. WVU went on to upset the SEC champions 38-35 in one of the most memorable games in program history.
A season later, Williams saw a more expanded role in the Mountaineer defense, appearing in all 13 of WVU’s games in 2006. He went on to record 57 tackles, a career-high five sacks, and three forced fumbles. The team finished the year with an 11-2 record, having defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 38-35 in the 2007 Toyota Gator Bowl.
In his junior year, the 6’2”, 225 pound middle linebacker had a career year in almost every defensive statistical category, recording 107 tackles, three forced fumbles, a sack, and an interception. Williams scored his only touchdown on the collegiate level when he returned a fumble to the end zone in a 28-23 victory at Cincinnati.
The Mountaineers earned a bid to the 2008 Fiesta Bowl by winning a share of the league championship, having earned the berth through a tie-breaker over UConn. The Mountaineers went on to trounce the Big XII champion Oklahoma Sooners 48-28 under the leadership of interim head coach, Bill Stewart. Williams earned the game’s defensive MVP honors having recorded a team-high nine tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in the unprecedented upset victory.
Williams was unable to finish his playing career during the 2008 season due to an injury he sustained just four games into the season. From there, the stand-out linebacker would be medically red-shirted the rest of the year, missing out on playing in yet another bowl victory for the Mountaineer football team.
However, Williams would return to the starting line-up in 2009, finishing out his career in style with 68 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble to help the team earn another New Year’s Day bowl bid, the school’s sixth in a seven year span.
Reed Williams earned his bachelor degrees in finance and marketing, as well as one in communications in the spring of 2009. Williams earned a second bachelor’s from the school, this time in accounting, in the spring of 2011.
Following his graduation from the university, Williams tried to pursue a career in professional football, but has since switched his focus toward the coaching aspect of the sport. Williams spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Arizona, where he was able to reunite with his former head coach, and his former linebackers coach, Rich Rodriguez and Jeff Casteel.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-48 are still available here at WVU Pros.