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ESPN The Magazine: Double Trouble
ESPN The Magazine

It might sound funny over the PA system and make for a bizarre box score, but other than that, this Roy Williams doesn’t get the fuss about playing that Roy Williams on Oct. 6.

“People make a big deal about Roy Williams on Roy Williams, but I didn’t even get to tackle him last year,” says the Oklahoma strong safety of his first meeting with his Texas WR namesake. UT’s Williams struggled for 16 yards on four catches in last season’s 63-14 Sooner rout, while OU’s version had seven tackles and a sack.

OU’s Williams was a first-team All-Big 12 selection (UT’s was third-team) after developing a rep as one of the fiercest hitters in the country. And Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops calls his Williams, a junior from Union City, Calif., the best DB he’s ever coached. “I’ll take our Roy Williams any day,” says co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “You can neutralize an offensive player if you try hard enough, but you can’t wipe out a defensive player like Roy unless you avoid him every time.”

At 6'0", 221 pounds, Williams is a linebacker playing strong safety. His 23 tackles for loss, in 29 games, is already tops all-time among Sooner DBs. “We always have to watch out if he’s in the area,” says Nebraska O-line coach Milt Tenopir, who watched Williams blow up ballcarriers 10 times in last year’s loss to the Sooners. “With size like that, he’s not afraid to run in and throw it around.”

And in pass defense, Williams often pulls double duty, covering RBs in the flat and jumping the TE curl route. “He can actually play two positions at once,” says Mike Stoops.

As his 15-tackle, two-pick performance vs. North Texas on Sept. 8 proved, it does seem like there are two Roy Williamses out there -- no matter who the Sooners play.

Also check out:

·Chris Simms has won over a group of receivers as good as any ever, but can he finally win the big game?

·Texas WR Roy Williams (a.k.a. Legend) has so many quirks that they didn't all fit in our Texas feature. Read about them here.

This article appears in the October 15 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

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