As No. 3 Clemson prepares to take on Virginia in the ACC Championship this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina there are a bevy of Tigers who will be playing against their home state.
Defensive tackle and a native of Virginia Beach, Jordan Williams, is one of them.
“Virginia recruited me hard,” Williams said. “They were definitely a top choice for me obviously being in-state. But Virginia is a great program. I like what Bronco Mendenhall was preaching.
“With being recruited, I obviously knew they were going to be the type of team they were this year. I just knew it was going to be a process but a great program, great culture. I like what they’re doing there.”
Clemson closed out the regular season with a 38-3 win over South Carolina on Saturday and finished with a 12-0 record for the second straight season. They held the Gamecocks to just 179 yards and although the defense has really stepped up the last few games, Williams says they just try to take it week by week.
“I don’t really want to label it our best,” he said. “We try and grow every week. As a defense and as a unit particularly. It’s definitely been great games for us back to back for sure.
“Holding opponents to under 300 yards like you said. I feel like we’ve been playing well together, communicating. Everything is starting to click at the right time.”
As the defense has continued to grow as a unit, Williams personally feels that he has improved most in his run game.
“Definitely my run game,” he said. “Early on being later I was definitely a pass rush guy but I soon learned that it’s not always going to be pass.
“I’m going to have to play the run on first and second down. Sometimes third but I feel like that’s part of my game that I’ve been working on the most this off season just typically on my own trying to get better at it.”
As the Tigers get ready to try to claim another ACC Championship, they will first have to make it past the Cavaliers dual-threat quarterback Bryce Perkins.
“He’s a great guy,” Williams said. “You really don’t see too many guys like Bryce Perkins. He can definitely use his legs. He has the ability to get it done in the air as well. I feel like that’s what people sleep on. The fact that he has the ability to change the game through the air as well.
“I feel like his legs just add another element to his game. We haven’t really seen a quarterback like him this year that can use their legs like that so I feel like it’s going to be a challenge but we’re going to watch the film and figure out ways to stop him and their offense.”
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