Scooby Williams talks progress, mental game, and love for football

by | Sep 14, 2023 | 0 comments

Linebacker Scooby Williams is making the most of his opportunity in Austin Armstrong’s defense. Ahead of Tennessee, Williams discusses his progress from last season to this season, his responsibilities as a linebacker, and his thoughts on the upcoming game against Tennessee. He also talks about his relationship with his coaches, his experiences playing multiple positions, and the importance of executing on the field. Additionally, Williams shares the origin of his unique nickname, “Scooby.”

RELATED: Billy Napier discusses Florida and Tennessee matchup and the emergence of Scooby, Lyons

His progress from last season to this season

“I feel like I took a major step this offseason mainly because the time I put in with my coaches, my strength staff, and just me, myself in general. In the film room learning tendencies on offense and being with my coaches helps a lot on the field and off the field. I feel like I made that step this offseason.”

If he improved more from a mental or physical perspective

“For me I feel like it’s more mental. If you know what you’re doing you can go out there an execute faster.”

Playing multiple positions at UF upon arrival

“I feel like it’s not about where you start but where you end up. You’ve gotta enjoy the process. Football is just a game it’s not the endpoint. It’s a journey and I fell in love with the journey. No matter what happen in-between, I love football. Wherever I ended up that’s where I was gonna play.”

His sack against McNeese reminding him of playing EDGE

“Yeah it did bring me back to high school a little bit and it felt good.”

Biggest adjustment to his new position

“Yeah, at Florida we talk about being a 4D player and I feel like I’m making that progress to being a 4D player. I’m not saying I’m there yet because there’s always work to do but being able to understand what the guy beside you, the guy in front of you and behind you is doing is more important that knowing just what you gotta do yourself. I feel like that was the biggest step for me in being a 4D player. I’m still working on that today.”

On the sack vs McNeese

“Yeah, ok, basically I was in coverage and I saw him break the pocket. I was like, I’ve gotta make this play. I can’t miss this tackle. Just going out there, hearing the crowd cheering for me and my teammates supporting me. Just seeing my coaches and it just meant a lot to me knowing how far I came.”

On almost having another sack

“I didn’t know if you touch somebody they kind of give you half a sack. I was just excited for my teammate to make that play. I know all the hard work that we put in this offseason and just seeing it come to fruition. I felt like it was a great moment for me and my teammates.”

What he sees from Tennessee’s offense

“High paced. They’re going to try to beat you to the ball and I feel like that’s where most of their explosives come from, not being set, not communicating. I feel like in order to beat a team like Tennessee you’ve gotta communicate, you’ve gotta execute.”

His chemistry with Shemar James

“I actually recruited Shemar. I’ve been knowing Shemar since before he got to college. We’ve always had that connection. Being here has only brought us closer. He’s a great person, a great football player, and a great individual to be around.”

The challenge Joe Milton poses

“Stopping the explosives. If you can stop the explosives that’s a good thing to do.”

If Milton is a challenge to contain

“I feel like every player in the SEC is a challenge to contain.”

What would it mean to shut Tennessee down

“For us it’s more of a statement game, like the last two weeks wasn’t a fluke. I feel like we’ve been putting the work in. Armstrong is a great coach and he’s always going to put us in the right place at the right time. We’ve gotta go out there and execute, make the plays that we’re supposed to make and we’ll be fine.”

Napier’s message to him

“What I took from it was basically just keep working. Somebody is gonna see it and when it’s your time go out there and make a play. That’s basically like, just keep working.”

Having big shoes to fill at LB from last season

“The past two years when I wasn’t playing, when I first got here, one of my coaches just told me to keep my head down and work and learn from those guy, because there’s a lot I did learn from Ventrell and Burney, and I’m using those same things today. I want to thank those guys for being great role models and great leaders to the younger players, as well as myself.”

Winning the starting job

‘Meant a lot to me, but it was like an ‘Okay, let’s go win.”

The edge this defense has heading into the Tennessee matchup

“Y’all know B. Spikes is back, right? Every day in practice he’s just yelling and yelling beat Tennessee, beat Tennessee. So, we got a chip on our shoulder, mainly because of B Spikes putting the bug in our ear. Oh, and this offseason, we did a whole thing about rivalries and Tennessee was one of those rivalries. Just knowing that you’re not only not only playing for the name on your back, but the name on the front of your jersey. The Gators. It’s not about us. It’s about the people who came before us and all the great role models and all the great players who came before us and just continuing that legacy. I feel like that’s the biggest challenge for us.”

If Spikes has been more intense this week

“Spikes is always intense, but I feel like he is more intense this week.”

How the crowd can impact the game

“Being hype, third down, first down opening drive, just been engaged the whole time. I feel like we feed off that, we feed off the energy of the crowd. So, hope they bring it this week.”

The difference of this season compared to last season’s defense

“Executing. It’s simple. Just being where we’re supposed to be and doing what we’re supposed to do, because Armstrong going to dial it up.”

Being impressed by the young defensive backs

“I done seen everybody work from the DBs to the D-line to the linebackers, just offense, defense so seeing everybody work and seeing it come alive on the field, it’s kind of expected because them boys been working hard. Coach CRay, they been training them. They do a good job. So, I appreciate them boys.”

His relationship with Coach Armstrong

“Me and Coach Armstrong are really close. You know, we both from Alabama so we got that Bama connection. So, we just click when we ever see each other.”

The Alabama connections on the defense with James, Armstrong, Williams

“We can’t forget Jaydon Hill too, but yeah. We got this little thing we do at practice any time we step in the field we just say ‘Bama’s tough.’ Anytime we make a play, ‘Bama’s tough.’”

How the Louisiana guys react to that

“Oh, you know, us Bama boys, we feel like we best, you feel me. Bama got the best football. So, we’re gonna brag about that in practice.”

The hype from Armstrong and Spikes ahead of the contest

“Armstrong, on a scale of 1-10, 15. B Spikes, 20.”

Impressing Armstrong during a play in spring camp

“I don’t remember the exact play, but I did make a play and he was just happy for me because it was something we worked on pre-practice and seeing me execute it during practice it was like ‘OK, he gets it.’ So it was just a special little moment right there.”

How Armstrong views his versatility

“I enjoy it, because it also helps me become that 4D player I was talking about, knowing how to rush, how to drop, knowing what the JACK doing, the other players, it just helps me play faster. How many positions could you line up at? As many as he needed me to.”

The origin of his Scooby name

“Basically, I used to walk around with Scooby snacks in high school. It was the gummies, but they don’t sell them no more. It wasn’t the clear ones. It was like the blue one, the red ones. They was just so good, and they was like ‘You are what you eat’ so, Scooby snacks.”

His thoughts on Tennessee

“I’m not too high on Tennessee myself.”

If he listened to Rocky Top this week

“Yeah, we did. They played it in practice.”

His thoughts on Rocky Top

“Not really a Rocky Top fan.”

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