TUSCALOOSA — Michael Williams moved into Alabama’s starting lineup as a freshman late in the 2009 season because of his blocking.
That’s kept him in the lineup, too, but his pass-catching has turned into a nice bonus for the Crimson Tide. He made 16 receptions last year and already has 18 this year, along with three touchdowns.
“He has really good hands,” coach Nick Saban said. “He’s athletic. He was a very good high school basketball player. He’s made some good catches this year and hopefully we’ll be able to continue doing that.”
Williams said he simply waited for his chance.
“It’s really just biding my time all this time,” he said. “This year was my opportunity to be that guy. I think I stepped in and did everything to the best of my ability. But still got a long way to go, so it all depends. But it’s been good so far.”
n Not remembering 2010: The last time Auburn came to Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Tigers won 28-27 despite trailing 24-0 at one point.
Senior center Barrett Jones said that isn’t serving as a big motivational tool this week.
“We’ve moved past it,” he said. “We certainly thought about it last year, but we’ve moved on. But it’s because of moments like those that we never want to let happen again.”
n Effect on recruiting: Does the Alabama-Auburn result affect recruiting? If it does, it might not be by much.
Alabama already has commitments for 19 of the NCAA-alloted 25 spots in its signing class, while Auburn has 18.
“Maybe in sort of a way it affects recruiting, but maybe it’s how the player and the player’s family connect with the coaches and with the program,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “I’m pretty sure you’ll have some big time recruits come to the game. But the bottom line is how much the player and the family love the school.”