Oct. 18, 2012
By Scott Waggoner
Off the football field University of Connecticut senior defensive end Trevardo Williams has been described as a quiet individual.
“He’s soft spoken and isn’t a man of many words,” redshirt senior cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson said.
On the field, Williams makes sure his presence is felt a little more. After picking up his seventh sack of the season last Saturday against Temple, the Connecticut native from Bridgeport is closing in on Connecticut’s all-time record. His seven sacks this year are sixth best in the nation, and he now stands just one sack away from breaking the school record of 27.
Williams might just break that record on Friday night when the Huskies visit Syracuse for an 8 p.m. game at the Carrier Dome. The game will be televised by ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
Williams, who has tallied an astounding 20 sacks in his last 18 games, makes getting to the quarterback look simple, though he says it takes a lot of work.
“It may look easy but it’s not,” Williams said. “If the guy is 6-6, 320 pounds it takes a lot of energy to drop him back, and on the next play it takes the same amount of energy.”
At just 6-2, 233 pounds, Williams packs a strong punch and says it’s his speed and power that makes him so successful at getting to the quarterback.
“Every play I just try to get off as fast as I can,” Williams said.
Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni says Williams has as good of a burst off the ball as he has ever seen. Williams gets a lot of attention for his sacks, though Pasqualoni is impressed with the way he has defended the run this year.
“The thing I like about him is that he’s playing the run very well,” Pasqualoni said. “Rushing the passer is his strength but he’s working awfully hard on his entire game.”
Pasqualoni compares Williams to the likes Dwight Freeney, who Pasqualoni coached at Syracuse, and of Demarcus Ware. The coach is confident that Williams will be able to make an impact at the professional level.
“There’s going to be a lot more to it at the next level but he’s got a big piece of the skill set that is required to play that position,” Pasqualoni said.
Redshirt defensive tackle Ryan Wirth has seen many of Williams’ sacks up close and is well aware of his incredible athletic ability.
“He’s a genetic freak,” Wirth said. “He works hard in the weight room and he goes out there and makes plays and is able to make plays whenever he wants.”
Williams’ play has helped Connecticut become one of the most complete defenses in the country. The Huskies are in the top 20 in rushing and pass defense, and rank sixth overall in total defense. Those numbers are remarkable, but Williams says leaving Connecticut with the sack record would be something special.
“It would mean a lot to me,” Williams said. “It would mean that I went to UConn and left a legacy."
Connecticut faces a Syracuse offense this Friday that likes to throw the ball around. The Orangemen are 22nd in passing yards, putting up nearly 23 points a game, and Williams know the Huskies will see an offense unlike any other they’ve faced this season.
“Playing against them is going to be a little different,” Williams said. “They play a little slow and fast at the same time, and we’re going to have to play smart.”
Sitting at 3-3 and coming off a tough loss against Temple, the Huskies have looked like a better team than their record shows. Williams said they are still very confident and he knows their best football is yet to come.
“It comes down to how little mistakes we can make,” Williams said. “We have the talent, size and strength to be successful we just have to persevere.”