This article was originally written by Matthew Argillander and appeared in The State News on December 20, 2015. It has been republished with the author’s permission.
When senior safety RJ Williamson went down in week five with a torn biceps, his teammates promised him there would be two games left when he returned to the lineup.
The trainers told Williamson he would probably not be ready until the postseason, so in other words— Williamson’s teammates promised him the playoffs and they delivered.
“The team as a whole, when he (went) out we basically promised him that we will get to the playoffs,” sophomore safety Montae Nicholson said. “We told him that ‘we will make it to the playoffs for you’, this being his last year, we felt like we owed him that.”
Some of Williamson’s teammates have compared his energy level to that of a freshman since his return. He has been “flying around” all week in bowl practice.
“He is 100 percent, he looks great. He was flying around, he was enjoying getting back out there finally,” Price said. “He’s a great player, we know (that). You see what he’s been able to do in his career here and we’re excited to have him back.”
Having spent so much time out, some would assume that Williamson wouldn’t be ready to play at the highest level of college football, but Nicholson thinks he could start against Alabama.
“It looks like he hasn’t lost a step at all, honestly. Great to have him back, so much knowledge on the field,” Nicholson said. “He brings that extra seniority back on the field. He’s had a great week of practice…he’s coming out here, he’s practicing real hard and getting back into the swing of things.”
His teammates are confident he will be ready and RJ has no shortage of confidence either. Williamson believes he will play just as big of a role as he did before his injury.
“I expect to play as much as I did at the beginning of the season,” Williamson said. “Whether I start or not, I feel like I’ll be a big contributor to our success that night.”
Williamson expects to play a major role in the Spartans road to a potential national championship, but he is prepared to play in any role his coaches see fit.
“Whatever the coaches have for me, I’m prepared for it,” Williamson said. “I’m a team player first. It’s not all about me. Whether I’m out there or not, we all (made) a goal for the team at the beginning of the season and to see it all come together full circle is relieving. It’s a joy. Im happy for my teammates and my coaches, but the job isn’t done.”
While the senior may only have two possible collegiate games left, he is hoping there will be more football in his future. Williamson is hoping that he can use the postseason to show potential NFL teams that he belongs at the next level.
“Of course you want to get the most out of it, especially in my position.” Williamson said. “I’m a senior. I only have two games left to showcase (my talent) to the world and to future NFL teams, which is where I want to play on Sundays. I have a short period of time to show what I’m capable of, but I’m up for the challenge. I’m ready for it.
“I have belief in myself. The coaches have belief in me. My teammates have belief in me and faith in me, so I’m not to worried about it.”