College Football: Livingstone’s Williams gets his shot at starting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 25, 2008

By Nick Bowton
Steven Williams spent the end of last season with a cast on his left leg, watching as Livingstone lost its final three games to finish winless.
Williams and the offense hadn’t put up good numbers through the first seven games, but at least Williams was playing. And playing and losing beat watching and losing.
“I’d never been broke up like that,” said Williams, who broke his shin bone in the seventh game against Shaw. “It was kind of serious. At first I didn’t know how to take it, but I took it in stride real quick, came back ready for this season.”
Williams might have come back ready, but he didn’t come back as the starter.
A three-man quarterback competition ended with former West Rowan standout Bryan Aycoth as the starter, with Williams playing sparingly in the Blue Bears‚ first three games this season. Those roles changed Saturday, when Williams started against Bowie State.
“It surprised me,” Williams said. “(Coach Lamonte Massie) let me know during pregame. We had been competing. It surprised me, but I was ready for the challenge. It was my first full game back from the injury.”
Williams didn’t do anything to cement his status as starter, as he finished 12-of-30 for 179 yards and threw two interceptions. Still, he’s thrown the Blue Bears’ only two touchdown passes this season and, for now, at least, has an edge over Aycoth and Curtis Edens.
“It’s always a day-to-day thing,” Massie said. “Steve has the edge primarily because he started, just like Aycoth had the edge a couple of games ago because he started. But every day is a work day. These guys play hard together; they’re supportive of each other. I’ll sit back and observe and see them sitting next to other, watching film together.
“I don’t think there’s any animosity. There’s a good competitive spirit.”
Williams knows that, and he knows he has to improve if he wants to keep the job he held last season.
Massie said one of his biggest concerns at quarterback is avoiding sacks. Williams was sacked four times against Bowie State.
With the quarterback competition ongoing, Williams could start every game the rest of the season or could see limited action as a backup. He hopes to stay healthy either way.
“It was a different feeling, knowing I’m a junior and I had to step up more because I was coming off injury,” Williams said. “College football is a business. I knew coach was gonna recruit and I had to come compete. I knew what I had to do.”