June 21, 2007

Key Red Raiders: #17 Marlon Williams

A huge number of factors go into the success of any football team. In this series, we will be examining 25 of them. More specifically, we will be taking a reverse-order look at the 25 players who will be most crucial if the Texas Tech Red Raiders are to have a successful 2007 season, however that may be defined.

This is not, however, a list of the best players on the team. Rather, this series takes into consideration the importance of a given position on the team, depth issues, experience and inexperience, and the historic strengths and weaknesses of Mike Leach's program. The results, therefore, may surprise many readers, and will hopefully spur spirited discussion and debate.

MARLON WILLIAMNS: The ultimate importance of sophomore weakside linebacker Marlon Williams to the 2007 Red Raiders may hinge upon just how extensively the skill-before-seniority rule is put into play on Texas Tech's defense. If this dictum becomes holy writ, Williams could certainly start and play a key role for a Red Raider defense that can use all the help it can get. If, on the other hand, it is business as usual on that side of the ball, Williams and promising freshman Julius Howard could remain buried in the depth chart for the duration of the season.

As of this writing senior Chad Hill is ensconced in the starting position at WILL despite the fact that he sat out spring workouts with an injury. Hill's absence meant that Williams, a six-foot 210-pounder from Pflugerville, ran primarily with the first-team linebackers.

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