Countdown to kickoff: 89

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
8:00
AM ET
From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 89 and what it means to UA football.

Yesterday on the Countdown to kickoff, we talked about a pair of players with a chance to have a breakout season in 2012. Well, we're going to stick with that trend today and look at No. 89, tight end Michael Williams.

The senior from Reform, Ala., hasn't turned into the pass-catching threat many expected in three seasons with the Crimson Tide. With Brad Smelley now playing for the Cleveland Browns and H-Back lacking an experienced player, Williams has an opportunity to become the safety net for AJ McCarron over the middle and in the red zone. The 6-foot-6, 269-pound athlete has the tools to become a focal point on offense: a massive target with soft hands, nimble feet and the ability to go up and get the football.

In three seasons, Williams has caught just 27 balls for three touchdowns. Compare that to Smelley's 2011-12 season where he caught 34 balls for four touchdowns.

There's already talk of Williams being a potential NFL draft pick next year. Mel Kiper Jr. ranked him among the top five seniors at the tight end position. If he has a big year, he could rise up draft boards quickly.

Alex Scarborough | email

Alabama/SEC reporter

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