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BMW Making Smooth Transition to OLB

May 1, 2022

Redshirt freshman Myles Williams, a 6’3’’ 245 pound outside linebacker, has been putting in work this spring season to get ready for the upcoming 2022 season.

Dubbed BMW for Big Myles Williams to Cal safety Miles Williams' TMW (Texas Miles Williams), the frosh OLB has been turning heads this spring

Williams was rated a 3 star defensive end on 247 sports coming out of Bishop Alemany HIgh School in Woodland Hills, CA last year, where he combined for 82 tackles, earned All-Los Angeles City section honors as a Sophomore and Junior, and led his team to the Los Angeles City Section Open and Division I titles as a freshman and sophomore. Williams lived in the opponents’ backfield, also adding 37 tackles for loss and 31 sacks.

WIlliams committed to Cal in 2020 and credited his choice to come to Cal over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, Colorado, Nevada, San Diego State and Washington State, to the family feel he experienced at Cal. Williams redshirted his freshman year in 2021, and previously played defensive end, but has recently transitioned to outside linebacker. 

“In high school, I was really used to having my hand in the dirt, being a four down man, really only being engaged with tackles. I think the biggest difference [being an outside linebacker] is having to play in coverage and in the secondary,” Williams said. “I was always athletic. I played basketball since I was nine, so my footwork was there. But just applying it on the field was probably the biggest thing I had to learn coming to the outside linebacker position.”

In order to improve as a linebacker, WIlliams has been working physically on improving his explosiveness. 

“As a D-lineman, I was really just propelling forward off a line. Getting into a back pedal has really been what I've been trying to get better at in coverage,” Williams said. “Coach Vic, he's really been helping me out, giving me tips, talking about my shin angle, angle of departure, all that stuff.” 

Williams has made connections with several of the Cal coaches, including Coach Browning, and now new outside linebacker coach, Vic So’oto. So’oto has been a great help for Williams in transitioning to the linebacker room and making the adjustments necessary to perform. 

“Coach Vic is great. He just came in this spring and I love him,” Williams said. “He had experience at SC, and I knew some guys over there who talk very highly of him, so I’m very appreciative to have him here. Very grateful.”

In addition to working with a new coach, Williams is also working with a whole new group of guys. 

“The d-line room I’d say is a little bit more rowdy. Coach Browning, he likes to have fun in there,” Williams said. “And we have a lot of fun in the outside backer room with Coach Vic, too. We play music sometimes. We just had a dinner actually, so the camaraderie is great. I’d say [the rooms are] about the same. We're all one big unit.”

“BMW, he had a good spring, as well,” said Cal head coach Justin Wilcox. “He’s another example of a guy who came in -there’s a lot to learn as freshmen- and playing a position that’s different than high school. I think he’s made the most of the spring, no doubt. he’s a natural athlete and now he just needs reps and reps and reps. The more he does this, the better he’s gonna get. That’s why I bring up a guy like BMW because each time he comes out here and practices, you see something that's improving, which is very encouraging.”

Outside of changes Williams made physically, he also had to work on his field vision in his transition to outside linebacker and work on getting out of old habits. 

“On the field, [I’m] just trying to get out of the ‘just looking at the tackle’ state of mind as a d-end, so [instead] looking at the linebackers, looking at what kind of formation we’re in, 2 by 1, 4 by 1, whatever it is, just trying to be more aware of my surroundings,” said Williams. “Coach Vic, he actually calls the offense a living, breathing organism, it's constantly moving, constantly changing. Just being able to adapt and see the changes that are happening for the play.” 

Now that spring practice has come to an end, Williams said recovery is something that is going to be super important leading up to the upcoming season, for him as well as the rest of the team. 

“Spring ball is very tough, maybe not as much as fall camp, but Coach Daree (Assistant Athletic Performance Coach Daree Ajibade) and Coach Johnson (Head Athletic Performance Coach Brian Johnson), they got us right, so trying to get with them and recover and come back strong for the summer [will be important],” Williams said. 

After an impressive spring where Williams has increasingly shined as he’s gotten acclimated to his new position, look for the athletic redshirt frosh to make waves this upcoming season.

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BMW Making Smooth Transition to OLB

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