Williams brings a thunder from down under

Laura Owens

Defensive lineman Jesse Williams’ family was among the 101,000 fans in the stadium last Saturday watching him play in his first football game at Alabama. In order to do this, his family made possibly the longest trip any family member has had to make.

Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all got to experience an Alabama football game Saturday for the first time.

“If you hear any crazy accents around Tuscaloosa, it’s probably my family,” Williams said.

The 16 family members who made the trip are leaving today, having stayed for a week. Williams said they were blown away by everything here. In Australia, maybe 50 people will come to watch football, and though he tried to warn them, there was no way to completely prepare them.

“They haven’t seen me play in person, because they never saw me play in JUCO since about 2007, so this is the first time they really saw me play, and in front of 100,000 people doesn’t really hurt,” he said.

His family will also go back to Australia clad in crimson and white.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve taken them to every store in Tuscaloosa that sells anything to do with the University of Alabama, and they bought everything,” Williams said. Quarterbacks continue developing

Quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims continued working on timing with the receivers this week in preparation for the Penn State game. Saban said while they have both have made progress through practice, there is still room for improvement for both quarterbacks. They should receive help from Duron Carter, who Saban said will most likely see playing time this week. “I think we got a new guy this week in Duron Carter,” Saban said. “We’re gonna get a new guy next week in [Darius] Hanks… so the continuity in that is really important. And experience is really important.” Indeed, senior wide receiver Brandon Gibson said he’s seeing improved timing from both the wide receivers and quarterbacks. “It’s going well,” Gibson said. “We’ve got to come in and work outside of practice, we’ve got to get that timing down. We’ve got a lot of receivers that are working hard, getting a lot of reps, so we should be prepared. “With the quarterbacks, they come to work everyday, so… we should be fine.”

Running behind Richardson

Sophomore running back Jalston Fowler got his second career touchdown on Saturday as he ran one in for 49 yards. His first touchdown came against Georgia State last November. Switching positions from linebacker, he said he likes being a running back more.

“The defense is complicated,” Fowler said. “If one person moves, everything changes, so it was pretty hard.”

Despite being behind running backs Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, Fowler said he doesn’t feel like he’s under the radar. He said he’s got good hands to catch the ball and recounted a story from when he was about 10 or 11.

“I’ve had great hands since I was young,” he said. “I used to play pickup games and practice all the time with friends. One day, I dove into a porch and still caught the ball. I was alright.”

Sophomore running back Eddie Lacy, who ran for 58 yards and one touchdown Saturday, said he thought the running backs played alright for their first game.

“Now, we just have to get better by paying attention to the little things we go over in our team meetings and things of that nature,” Lacy said. “You never do good in football, you always can do better, so that’s what we live by.”