Marshall Coach Doc Holliday wondered during the first week of preseason camp whether he had someone who could punt effectively. Yet when Williams wrested the starting job away from Austin Dumas, the switch flipped.
"He's such a tremendous kid," Holliday said. "He changed field position totally twice Saturday and that's what good punters do."
Against Rice, Williams averaged 50.8 yards a punt, including punts of 62 and 66 yards. The 66-yarder tied Brian Dowler's 1991 punt for eighth longest in Marshall history. Three of Williams' punts landed inside Rice's 20. That performance earned him Conference USA special teams player of the week honors.
Holliday said Williams has improved dramatically from those rough first few days of camp.
"He's become more sound with his technique and his fundamentals and become more consistent with his drop and his steps and things like that," he said. "He's become a more consistent punter. He's got 'it.' He goes in there and finds a way to get it done."
Yet Williams refuses to rest on those laurels, even in his award-winning punts last week, he found areas to improve.
"That's my mentality," he said. "Nothing's really good enough and that's how I feel I've gotten better. You can't just say, 'Oh that's good enough.' That's the mindset you can't have."
The mindset he does have will soon rectify one glaring hole in Williams' resume - his lack of a scholarship.
"He'll have one in January," Holliday said.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.