Chapel Hill – One of the biggest offseason wins for UNC was defensive tackle Sylvester Williams deciding to return for his final season of eligibility instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.
Williams would have likely been one of the top defensive tackles taken had he opted for the NFL Draft
“When you’re in that position you always have to think of the pros and cons,” the 6-3, 320-pounder said. “I weighed everything out with my family, and it was never my intent to leave, but we all decided that it was my best decision to come back and see what coach (Larry) Fedora and coach (Deke) Adams had to bring."
The junior college transfer made an instant impact in the middle of the North Carolina’s defensive line in 2011 and recorded roughly 50 tackles with a handful going for a loss.
With the recent NCAA sanctions, Williams has the opportunity to transfer to another school for his senior season but that’s an option he doesn’t plan to exercise.
“I didn’t think about that at all,” the Missouri native said. “I’m at home here at North Carolina. It hit me hard but at the end of the day we have to move on from it and try to win twelve games.
“I’ve been here since day one and the only thing you can do is try to win twelve games and to go anywhere else would be crazy. I’m at home.”
The big defensive tackle said that he’s still getting used to the new coaching staff’s new defensive schemes.
“It’s crazy and it’s all coming at you at once but that’s football and you have to learn on the run,” he explained. “When you’re at where we are now with a winning coaching staff coming from a winning school they’re going to throw a lot at us. We just have to be ready to take it all in. Obviously it’s worked before but we have to be willing to take it in and help the team win.”
Williams explained that ‘Blue Dawn,’ the team’s early morning, offseason workout program has helped build team unity.
“Blue Dawn was lovely but it was hard,” Williams explained. “For me to say it was easy would be telling a fib but it was hard. But we fought together as a team and we worked hard and go through it. That’s something you need as a football team because when it gets hard, you need to know you will stick together because that’s how you win games.”
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