September 3, 2013 10:11:14 PM
STARKVILLE - Maybe the goal for Damian Williams should just be to get the entire first-team offensive unit to know him by name -- or at least his junior center.
"One can only hope," MSU junior center Dillon Day said Monday.
When asked what he thought of "Damian's progression" Monday after practice, Day said juniors "Ben Beckwith and him" were competing on that side of the offensive line. He had no idea the reporters were referring to the new backup quarterback and not offensive tackle Damien Robinson.
"My fault, I had no idea who you were talking about," Day said. "Clearly we don't know much about him right now but he's next in line and I'm sure he'll be fine by Saturday."
In January, Williams seemed destined to sign a scholarship offer to the University of Southern Mississippi after receiving that offer during his senior season at Archbishop Rummel High School in Metarie, La.
"He's the guy so he's got to be ready to go," Mullen said Monday of Williams' backup role. "Obviously now as the backup, you're looking at what are the 20-30 plays that you're going to feel very, very comfortable with, going in as an inexperienced backup into the course of the game."
Williams was a highly regarded dual-threat quarterback from the New Orleans area after leading his high school to a 14-0 record and its first ever state championship. The 6-foot-1 signal caller was named all-state in Class 5A by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Williams was unavailable to the media due to the program's policy on true freshmen being restricted from doing interviews until they at least get on the field for a game.
"We're getting him ready to go and he's a smart guy and athletic guy," MSU sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott said.
The offensive lineman have already noticed a different tone to the cadence in the huddle with the new freshman quarterback.
"He's a little bit different to get used to after not working with him much," MSU senior left guard Gabe Jackson said. "It was fun working with him though because he's clearly excited about getting more opportunities."
Mullen said practice repetitions will be split normally between Prescott and Williams with the sophomore getting a majority of the work with the first-team offense. After suffering a concussion in Saturday's 21-3 loss to No. 13 Oklahoma State University, MSU senior Tyler Russell is expected to watch from the sidelines all week in practice.
"I think, he's going to get a lot of reps, a lot more reps this week than he got last week as the No. 2 guy," Mullen said of Prescott. "I think that preparation is going to be good for him. He's a serious guy, played on a championship team, knows how do things, knows how to handle himself and I think he'll be fine."