Hometown: Moorefield, WV
Record: 51-13, Bowl Record: 4-1
Reed Williams had one of the more memorable careers at West Virginia based on three things: his talent, his academics, and his injuries. Williams wound up as a special teams player his freshman year, avoiding a redshirt. He split strong side linebacker duties with Bobby Hathaway during 2006 before assuming the full-time role as a starter in 2007. Williams was forced to take a redshirt for the 2008 season due to shoulder injuries. He would require reconstructive surgery on both shoulders, which many thought might end his playing career. He persevered through the pain and started again in 2009 for the Mountaineers. Ultimately, he would reinjure one his shoulders at the conclusion of the season, forcing Reed Williams to end his career short of the NFL. While his statistics are quite impressive (254 tackles, 8 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries), what is most impressive was his acumen in the classroom. He was recognized in 2007 as an Academic All-American, a 2009 National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete. His dedication to the West Virginia football program cannot be questioned. He played through some incredible pain to give his all to WVU. You cannot help but admire that level of dedication.
Memorable Game: Reed Williams posted the best stats line of his career against Marshall in the 2007 edition of the Friends of Coal Bowl. This game marked the first time WVU had traveled to Huntington since the 1915 manhandling of the Herd (92-6 final score). Marshall was amped at the chance to knock off the Mountaineers and pulled out all the stops to take a 13-6 lead into half time. Too bad for Marshall, football is a 60 minute affair. West Virginia lit up the Herd in the second half, rattling of 6 touchdowns to rout Marshall at home, preserving West Virginia’s undefeated streak in the series and preserving WVU’s chances of playing for a BCS bowl berth. Reed would make his presence felt that day, tallying a career high 15 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. West Virginia prevailed 48-23.
Competition: Many memorable Mountaineers have worn #47. Williams wins out for his dedication and skill level. Other players you might remember: Willie Edwards, Zach Abraham, Ed Hughes, and current player Doug Rigg.
Teaser: Tomorrow we feature the only other Mountaineer player (besides Sam Huff) to be a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame. This player was the 6th player to ever be drafted in NFL history (first round to Chicago Bears in 1936). He played at the time when the only real protection a player had was a jock strap and a leather helmet.