Oh, how times have changed.
Alabama’s Quinnen Williams remembers playing just three or four snaps in last year’s national championship game. This is the same defensive lineman who has started every game this season and leads the team in tackles for loss with 18.
Safe to say Williams’ snap count will be significantly higher this time around, as No. 1 Alabama will play No. 2 Clemson for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
“I’m very excited,” Williams said Tuesday. “This whole season, I’ve been excited just to play because I knew I came from not playing and just watching for two years, and I’m starting now. So every game, I go into the game like: Man, I get to play.”
He has made the most out of his opportunities, too.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Birmingham native is Alabama’s third-leading tackler with 67 total stops. He has eight sacks and 12 quarterback hurries. He scored the Crimson Tide’s only safety this season.
“There’s a lot I can do to handle the game,” Williams said. “Last year, I couldn’t do a lot because I was rotating. … I can make an impact, so I really want to make that impact.”
Williams, a nose guard, won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior lineman. He was also a unanimous first-team All-American.
Because Williams is a redshirt sophomore, he has the option to leave UA early and declare for the NFL draft.
“I’m not really thinking about all that decision,” Williams said. “I just want to dominate in this game. I just want to finish this game with another ring. Hey, them rings look good.”