2013 NFL DRAFT - Steelers Sixth (6b) Round SelectionVINCE WILLAMSLinebackerFlorida State University Seminoles6-1 - 250Davenport, FloridaRidge Community High School6th Round – 206th OverallCAREER NOTESPlayed in 50 games during his career, starting 26 games during his final two seasons … recorded 140 tackles (86 solo), three sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, seven passes defensed and one interception … earned All-ACC Honorable Mention, Phil Steele Postseason All-ACC Second Team honors and was a Under Armor Senior Bowl selection.
2012 SEASONSenior who started all 14 games for FSU at the middle linebacker spot...helped Florida State's defense lead the nation in yards allowed per play (3.86), rank second nationally in total defense (254.14 ypg) and rank in the top six nationally in scoring defense (14.71 ppg), rushing defense (92.29 ypg), pass defense (161.86 ypg), pass efficiency defense (95.43) and opponent three-and-outs (6.29 per game)finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles as he eclipsed 50 tackles for the second straight season...recorded five or more tackles in seven of his 14 games...set a career-high with 10 tackles in the Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois which included his first sack of the season...set a career high with 6.5 tackles for loss for the season and a new career best with two stops behind the line in the ACC Championship Game win over Georgia Tech...had a big game in a key road win at Virginia Tech recording five tackles, a tackle for loss, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery...recorded tackles for loss in four of the last five games...named one of four team captains and given the Leadership Award on defense at the team's annual banquet.
2011 SEASONA redshirt junior, who started 12 of 13 games at middle linebacker in his first season with an expanded role...ranked fifth on the team with 54 tackles (30 solo, 24 assisted)...also added five tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception and three pass break-ups...earned his first career start against ULM and had a game-high and a career-best seven tackles...had six tackles versus Oklahoma and five at Clemson...had three tackles and a sack at Duke...tied for team-lead and matched his career-best with seven tackles against Maryland...ended the season recording five tackles in the Champs Sports Bowl win over Notre Dame...received one of two awards for best attitude on the defense at the team's annual banquet.
2010 SEASONA redshirt sophomore who saw his first playing time since the 2008 season, when he missed all of the 2009 season with a back injury...was among the players who made the greatest strides in the offseason conditioning program since the arrival of strength coach Vic Viloria...earned playing time behind senior Kendall Smith at middle linebacker after enjoying an outstanding spring practice...registered a single-season high 17 tackles while participating in 11 of 14 games...posted a season-high five tackles (four solos) in the season opener against Samford...had three tackles in extended playing time against North Carolina...credited with two pass breakups which came against Oklahoma and UNC.
2009 SEASONBattled a back injury that led to a redshirt season, though he returned to the practice field over the final month of the regular season.
2008 SEASONPlayed in 12 games as a true freshman and finished second on the team among first-year defenders with 10 tackles...graduated early from high school and enrolled in January 2008, which allowed him to get up to speed in spring practice...had three tackles in each of his first two games - against Western Carolina and Chattanooga...was the back-up at middle linebacker...saw action in every game except the win at Miami.
HIGH SCHOOLEarned a four-star ranking as an inside linebacker as a high school senior...named Polk County Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and all-county honors as a sophomore...amassed almost 300 tackles with 48 tackles for loss and 25 sacks over three varsity seasons...earned 3A second-team All-State honors as a senior...co-MVP of the Scout.com combine in Jacksonville...chose Florida State over LSU, Ohio State and Florida.
PERSONALOlder brother of fellow Seminole Karlos who was a sophomore in 2012...born December 27, 1989.
Vince Williams Conference Call Transcript
Do you feel you have an opportunity here?I'm just grateful for the opportunity. I'm really ready for it. I have been preparing, and I have been getting my body in tip-top shape. I'm just happy to really be a part of the organization.
Re: Describe college career:I think I had a decent college career. I think injuries did prevent me from being as good as I could have been. But that is how life is, you move on to bigger and better things. Obviously, I was pretty successful in college. Now I have to strive to be better, and see where I go.
Did you lose some weight?I trimmed 15 pounds. I just wanted to get [my weight] down. I talked to my trainer about it. I wanted to show everyone I could help in coverage too. I felt like getting trim would help me get that accomplished.
How much work have you done on kick coverage, and how can you help on special teams?I think I would be a tremendous attribute on all special teams. I actually played all of them at Florida State. My special teams coach taught me all of them. We only focused on a few. He didn't want a starting linebacker running down there on kickoffs.
Re: Big hit you had at Senior Bowl:I hit a guard when he pulled around. I was coming down he was coming full speed. I just treated him like a speed bump.
How often do you treat ball carriers like a speed bump?That's a big part of my game. That's what I love to do. That's how I think I get notoriety. I'm a very physical downhill player. I'm gritty. I love to get out there.
Re: Filling the spot behind Larry Foote:I actually got the chance to go there and visit [the Steelers]. The coaches were going over it. It's really a beautiful thing when you start to break it down and look at it. I only really got a little piece of it, so I can just imagine what it really is. I only got a chance to digest it. [Coach] Mark Stoops gave me the opportunity to make all the calls [at Florida State], and I handled it pretty well.
Linebackers Coach Keith Butler Press Conference Transcript Keith Butler: We told Vince Williams he is an inside linebacker for us. We aren't decided yet on what we are going to play him at, the buck or mac position. He is going to provide some depth for us that is well needed. If they had done what I felt like doing we would have taken one in the second round. As I told them, last time we picked first and second with linebackers we won the Super Bowl two years later. We didn't go to it, we won it. I tried to make that argument, it didn't work. It worked for one round, but it didn't work for the second round. Vince Williams will be very competitive for us at inside linebacker. We will find out what we have and how we stack up. We need for Sly to step up a little bit and some of these younger guys that we have, McFadden. Vince will provide some depth in there and give us some good competition in training camp.
Is Sean Spence just gravy if he recovers?
Yes he is. I hope he's gravy. I really do because this kid is a great kid. He's not only a very intelligent football player but he is going to provide some intangibles in our locker room that we desperately need, I think. We're going to ride with him for another year I think. Hopefully his knee will respond and he can play again.
Spence won't be back this year?
I don't think he is going to be. It will be miraculous if he does come back. It will be miraculous if he comes back next year. We are going to take a chance on him and see if he can come back. To me, he is worth every bit of that.
Re: Potential of how well Williams can cover:
The thing that might be a little bit of a drawback is that they took him out on third downs, but they put in another defensive back. They didn't put in another linebacker. They put in another defensive back for him. We'll see. We will make that judgment when we get to training camp whether he is capable of being a three-down linebacker as opposed to being a two-down linebacker.
What type of player is he? Does he run at the ball well?
He runs at the ball well. He gets off blocks well. He destroyed Gutierrez. We try to stay away from players who are not going to be physical. We think that he is all those things. He can get to the ball and he can hit you when he gets to the ball. We'll see how in training camp if he has the ability to cover running backs and stuff like that. Obviously if he is not going to be a three-down football player in college then he is not going to all of a sudden step to the National Football League and be a three-down player. That is something we have to determine in training camp.
Can he play special teams?
Re: Williams play that was "talk of the week":
The thing that attracts us to him is that he will hit you. There are two things you can't teach linebackers in this league. One of them is how fast are you going to be and the other one is will you hit somebody. That is something I have said time and time again. I have always believed this even when I played and from watching the guys I have played with. Two things that I am not going to be able to teach you-- one of them is to hit you and the other one is to run. I think that is something their mother and daddy give them. I can't help them out with that. We'll see.
Re: Talk about Stevenson Sylvester. Make or break?
No doubt for him. He knows that. That is something I talked to him about at the end of the season. I talked to all of them about this at the end of the season. It doesn't matter the reason that you are not on the field. If you are hurt like LaMarr Woodley, he was hurt. It doesn't matter the reason that he wasn't on the field, he just wasn't on the field. We have to remedy where that reason is and the same thing with Sly. Sly was injured. We had little nagging injuries here and there. We had a few of those last year. We have to eliminate those and keep ourselves in position where we are available and can play during the year and not be sitting on the sideline watching the game with me because they have an injury. So we have to do things to try and correct that if we can.
On why the body shapes of the linebackers all the same:I don't know. You would think as an outside linebacker, you want those guys with long arms and that are 6'6", but if you look at James Harrison and you look at LaMarr Woodley, LaMarr, I mean everybody says he's 6'2", but he's not, he's about 6'1". James Harrison was never close to 6'0". He's probably more like 5'11". He'd say he's 6'0", but he's not. Those guys play with leverage, play underneath you and stuff like that. The lower man usually wins. We don't care how tall they are as long as they can do those things: play low and be able to hit and get off blocks and get to the ball. And that's the thing we try to get out of our linebackers.
Are you starting to worry about your run defense with the loss of some key guys?We always worry about the run defense. I do. As a linebacker coach you always do because you have to make people predictable, keep them one-sided. One-sided meaning they're going to have to throw the football and we talk about this all the time, that we want to try to get people in positions where they have to throw the football so we know they're throwing the football so we can apply pressure. The play-action stuff in this league, which we got a lot of, it's hard to get pressure in play action because a lot of the time you're defenses are better against the run. So if you can get people in predictable positions where they have to throw the football then you can kind of pin your ears back and rush the quarterback, so we'll try to get them in that position if we can. Now Aaron Smith was a big loss in my opinion. We have to be able to fill that void and I think we will because there's couple of young guys that are coming along. Cam[ron] Heyward is coming along pretty good. Ziggy Hood has some technical stuff that John [Mitchell] has to work with him on. And John knows about that so we're going to try to get those things clarified and work that out and hopefully we'll be good against the run. We have to better at linebacker too. Jason Worlds should be a lot better than he was last year. Everybody talks about Jarvis coming in and stuff like that and is Jarvis going to start his first year? We've never started a linebacker since I've been here. His first year, Jarvis Jones has a wealth of talent and I'm very fortunate to have him. He put up 28 sacks in the last two years in the toughest, in my opinion, the best conference in the land. He's done it. He's been very productive. He's going to come in and compete, but he's not going to be given the position. Some of you think that way. I certainly don't think that way. My thing is Jason Worlds is here. He's the next guy up since James has left and I expect Jason to be better than he ever has been.
On what has effected LaMarr Woodley's production:Not being on the field. He has to be on the field. And then when he did get on the field, a lot of times people were getting the ball off of him and getting it out. We play against, I believe it was Baltimore last year and [DE Brett] Keisel knocks the crap out of [QB Joe] Flacco the first play and after that Flacco was getting rid of the ball. He hit his back foot and was getting rid of the ball all the time. LaMarr has to get on the field. I've talked to him about that too. We have to do the things that it takes for him to get on the field. Part of that is to make sure his hamstrings are in the top shape that they need to be in for him to play a year. A solid year and not miss any time. We're going to try to do what we can to make sure we remedy that.