Some quick news this morning out of Bearcat Lair’s Tim Adams who is reporting that Butch Jones has accepted a transfer from CMU defensive tackle John Williams:
UC has added John Williams (DT) from C. Mich. The graduate transfer will be eligible immediately. Former capt. at CMU with 94 career stops.
— Tim Adams (@TimAdams918) August 6, 2012
Williams was on pace to start most games last season but his season was cut short with a knee injury. In the four games he did play, Williams tallied 16 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Projected over the course of a full 12 game regular season and the Central Michigan DT was looking at a very solid 48 tackle, 6 TFL’s, and 4.5 sack-season. Not bad at all.
I fully expect Williams to be in the rotation at defensive tackle as long as his knee is close to 100% healthy. If it is, I’m not sure how Butch Jones can keep a battle-hardened senior away from the backup DT spot garnering nearly 20% of the reps, especially when there is so much green behind him. In many ways this situation could play out much like Ben Pooler last year. The former Maryland Terrapin linebacker transferred to Cincinnati and played immediately. But he battled knee injuries and was sidelined for most of the 2nd half of the season.
But what Pooler was able to do was bridge the gap between the veterans (J.K. Schaffer, Maalik Bomar) and the young and inexperienced studs (Nick Temple, Dwight Jackson). In Temple’s case, he was able to learn behind Pooler and ease his way into game situations. By the time Big East play started Temple was more than ready to take over as a starting linebacker just when Pooler’s knees started to nag him. Now I’m not saying I’m hoping for Williams’ time at Cincinnati to play out the same way (I hope he stays healthy all season) but if he is able to allow young interior linemen like Brandon Mitchell to get some in-game reps but not get thrown into the fire then it’s a win-win for the Bearcats.