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Williams, Rivers battle for Grambling quarterback job
Grambling quarterback D.J. Williams may only be a freshman, but he’s certainly got the confidence of a fifth-year senior.
“I feel like the guys just rally around me,” Williams said. “I’m good friends with all of the guys, on and off the field, and they just rally around me. I feel like I’m the best leader out there.”
Williams and sophomore Frank Rivers have been battling throughout camp for the opportunity to be Grambling’s starting quarterback when it opens the season against Alcorn State on Sept. 3.
The Grambling coaching staff has yet to make any statements about which player is the frontrunner. Williams impressed at a recent scrimmage, but from all accounts, the two young quarterbacks have been neck-and-neck throughout camp.
They’re also friends, and they said they’ve shared some friendly banter about who will be the starter and who will be a backup.
“It makes practice fun, it makes practice better,” Rivers said. “No one is laid back, everyone is competing with each other.”
Both are young and lanky, and both have interesting backgrounds. Williams is the son of GSU legend Doug Williams, who just so happens to be the head coach as well.
Rivers is in his second year at Grambling, but he was not able to play in 2010 because he was a Prop. 48 signee. But Doug Williams has been excited to get Rivers on the practice field since taking the GSU job during the spring.
Williams said he expects to make a decision at the end of the week.
“I think as a coach when you’ve been around awhile, and even as a player, you always want that veteran,” Doug Williams said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a veteran. But somewhere along the line one of these young guys has got to grow up.”
To no surprise,, the quarterbacks have struggled at times during camp as they’ve tried to move the offense against a GSU defense that is as stingy as any in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Both figure that if they can survive against that defense, they can survive against any defense.
“It’s made me a lot better, last spring and this camp,” D.J. Williams said. “It’s made me a lot better going against that defense, because in my opinion they’re the best defense in the SWAC. And I haven’t even seen the SWAC, but I know nobody can get better than that defense out there.”
Said Rivers, “If we can have success our defense we should be pretty good during the season.”
By Ethan Conley, The News Star