Yeah, this was supposed to be yesterday's, but I was out all day so you're getting it today. Today's will also be up later.
No. 49, Brandon Williams, Junior, Punter
Who he be: Once upon a time, Brandon Williams was merely a walk-on, waiting in the wings while Stefan Demos, punter/placekicker/kickoff guy, handled every conceivable kicking role possible. However, that gig didn't sit well with Demos: after having been an effective punter while Amado Villareal handled placekicking, he was considerably worse when kicking was added to his regimen, last in the conference in punting and net punting. Williams took over as a redshirt freshman in 2010, and immediately paid dividends: Northwestern was second in the conference in punting (40.0 yards, as opposed to 35.0 the year before) net punting (38.0, as opposed to 32.9 the year before) and limited opposing returners to .7 yards per return, which is unheard of. (Thank you, based Jeravin Matthews gunner god.) Williams was pretty middle of the pack this past season, with a few mess-ups, like a punt that Keshawn Martin easily returned for a touchdown against Michigan State.
The most Northwestern player profile answer I've seen yet:
Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be and why?
A: Antonio Stradivari, because there are so many unanswered questions about his work that I would be interested to know about.
Yes, the famed Italian violin-maker of the 1700's. Even if dude spoke English, I'm probably not good enough at luthiering to really appreciate that dinner convo. A lot of silverware clinking and "man, this is some fettucine, Antonio" probably.
Other sporting Brandons William: A deep bench player for the 1999 World Champion San Antonio Spurs, a former Michigan cornerback who briefly played for the Bengals, a former Wisconsin wideout most recently with the Steelers, and a Cardinals linebacker. (No punters.) There is also a five-star running back recruit headed to Oklahoma, whose HS highlights video looks like this:
Pity we didn't use our Brandon Williams as a recruiting tool. "Hey, Brandon. This is Brandon! Isn't that neat! Who's your favorite historical violin-maker? Hello?)
A very intimidating Brandon Williams:
The YT video says this is his warmup, because his regular workout is him benching a rhinoceros.
Looking forward: Brandon is the incumbent punter, and although Northwestern has three others on the roster, all are freshmen or redshirt freshmen and I don't believe any have scholarships. Northwestern doesn't need an all-conference punter, just one who isn't the worst in the conference and puts the ball in the air long enough to prevent freak athletes from other schools from busting out TD's. Williams seems capable of doing that.