There’s only one thing wide receiver T.V. Williams hasn’t loved about Kentucky so far: the cold. Williams, a McKinney, Texas native, was one of five incoming freshmen to enroll early at UK in January, and said that this year’s harsh winter was the hardest thing he had to adjust to. “The weather here is crazy. All the snow and the cold weather, I definitely was not used to that at all,” T.V. told me last week. “But after the snow started going away, I started getting more adjusted and figuring out where all my classes were, getting my schedule with all the practices and tutors.”
Other than the weather, Williams says the most drastic change from high school to college has been the speed of play. “Coming from high school, you were able to slack off on plays, but when you’re here, everyone you’re playing against is a superstar, so you’re playing the hardest you ever played in high school on every down,” Williams said. “But you get in better shape, you have to run full speed on every play.” He added that spring practice is living up to all of his expectations so far, calling it “as physical as I thought it would ever be,” but like the rest of his 2014 class, he’s embracing that challenge. “I love it.”
Part of TV’s transformation has been in the weight room. He arrived at UK at 5’10”, 137 lbs., and said that he meets with High Performance Coach Erik Korem daily to discuss how to bring his weight up without taking away his speed. Williams said he feels like they’ve made good progress so far, and he’s already up to 155 lbs. thanks to protein shakes every two hours.
T.V.’s already turning heads in practice, with Stoops calling him “elusive” and “electric.” I tried to pry a little inside info from him about the quarterback battle, but T.V. insisted it was pretty even. “They’re all good guys and they’ve all thrown the ball really well and it’s hard to say who’s doing a better job, because it’s a huge competition between all three of them.”
One of the things the fans and coaches love about T.V., Drew Barker, and the rest of the 2014 class is their enthusiasm. T.V. said it’s not just the early enrollees who are pumped; the whole team has an incredible energy surrounding it right now, which started during offseason workouts. “Even when I came in, a lot of the older guys like Bud and Za’Darius already had a lot of energy on the team. During workouts int he offseason and in the weight room, they’d always be screaming, getting everybody hyped, getting everyone happy. It’s 6 a.m. in the morning and we’re all screaming in the weight room, ready to go to work.”
(The same thing happens at the KSR compound, swear.)
Even though only a handful of them are currently on campus, T.V. said the bond between the 2014 class is still tight. He told me about a huge group text the guys have going in which they discuss what’s going on in practice, their lives, and the all important rooming decisions coming up in the fall. T.V. said a large group of the 2014 signees are coming to the Spring Game, and he’s anxious to catch up.
Four months in, is T.V. still happy he enrolled early? “Oh yeah, I am. I’m happy I enrolled early. I get to get a good jump on my degree, and my education and I get to get a huge jump on the field. Coming in, and being able to learn all the plays before the class comes in going into fall camp, I won’t have to adjust to that like the other guys.”
Now that the weather’s warmed up, T.V.’s made his first appearance at Keeneland, right? As of last Friday, wrong. “Everyone’s been telling me to go, I’m going to go eventually, but right now, I’m focused on trying to get my schoolwork done and get all these plays down.”
How can you not love that?