MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Devin Williams is quite aware of the impression he gives opponents when they prepare to share the floor with him.
They look past the 6-foot-9 body holding 255 pounds.
"Genetics," Coach Bob Huggins said. "He's got a great body and big, wide shoulders."
And if the other team happens to catch the freshman forward in warm-ups, it probably isn't watching the surprisingly soft jump shots or the able dribbling to the basket.
"For a big guy," point guard Juwan Staten said, "he can put the ball on the floor and he's really got a nice little touch on his shots."
No one really notices that about Williams, either, because more often than not, everyone's eyes are on his eyes. Williams is severely nearsighted and wears goggles that seem to contradict his skill.
That's fine with Williams. That's part of the plan.
"I get that a lot," Williams said. "Because I'm wearing goggles and I'm a big guy and I'm strong, the goggles make me look goofy. But at the same time, I'm out there to play. I've got the same goals as everyone, so it's cool."
It doesn't take long for people to realize the goggles don't match his game.
"I can see that being effective probably for the first four games until teams start scouting and watching tape and see he's really going to rebound and make plays," Staten said.
Williams has been wearing goggles since seventh grade. He tried contact lenses, but they didn't work, and because of comfort and practicality, he won't go back.
"Being a big man, I'm going to be down there scrapping in the paint, and I lost like two pairs in there," he said. "That wasn't for me."
Williams, who has just one pair of goggles and hopes he never has to consider a backup during a game, came to WVU as an extremely accomplished prep player. He was ranked by Rivals.com as the 11th-best center in his recruiting class and as a top-100 player by ESPN, Rivals.com and Scout.com. He started his high school career at Withrow High in Cincinnati, where WVU started recruiting him as a freshman. He finished at Florida's Montverde Academy, which won the 2013 National High School Invitational Championship and was generally ranked as the nation's best prep team.
In his college debut last week, Williams played 27 minutes, snatched 14 rebounds and scored four points in an exhibition victory against Fairmont State. When the Mountaineers opened the season Friday with a 77-62 victory against Mount St. Mary's, he hit early foul trouble and finished with four points and one rebound.