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High School Sports

Monessen star bigger and better

Kevin Gorman
| Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2004

His reputation as one of the WPIAL's most powerful players wasn't the only thing that expanded in the offseason for Monessen star Ernest "Mick" Williams.

The senior fullback/linebacker gained 20 pounds, prompting some to believe that, at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, he was growing into a down lineman.

The Greyhounds are counting on former Monessen standout Jamie Reader, who played fullback at Akron and for the Philadelphia Eagles, to be a positive influence on Williams.

"He's taught me a lot of things, and there's more to come," Williams said of Reader. "He's someone to look up to. He's all ready been there, made it to every place I want to be. He didn't have to teach me. Just his presence helps."

Reader, an assistant coach for the Greyhounds, has become a workout partner and mentor for Williams. A handful of Division I schools have made scholarship offers to Williams, and Reader is helping him prepare for the jump.

"From a conditioning respect, Jamie is teaching him that, when you make the next step, there's a hundred guys like you," Monessen first-year coach Andy Pacak said. "And to get to the NFL, it's even more competitive."

Williams has been dominant on both sides of the ball since his sophomore season and figures to elevate Monessen to the elite of Class A this fall.

He combines incredible lower-body strength with surprising speed for someone his size. Williams can bench-press 340 pounds and squat 690.

"Mick's a flat-out monster," Pacak said. "Mick is an unstoppable force. If he puts his mind to it, I think Mick can do a lot of damage offensively and defensively. He's a ferocious hitter. If we keep people off him, he's going to be a force."

Williams recorded 85 tackles with three interceptions last season at inside linebacker. He doesn't know the particulars of the rest of his defensive statistics, but a brief glimpse of his game film gives you an idea what he is capable of.

"On my highlight tape, I had five sacks and three forced fumbles," Williams said. "But that's just the highlights."

The Williams file

School: Monessen

Class: Senior

Positions: Fullback/linebacker

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 255 pounds

40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds

College: Is projected to play either position in college or develop into a defensive lineman. Has scholarship offers from Akron, Indiana, Iowa, Pitt and West Virginia.

Joe Butler's Metro Index scouting report: "A powerful, powerful young man. A multi-position player who can play fullback or inside linebacker. Strong lower body. Excellent leverage. Can run hard. Nice height, weight, speed. He's a real find for somebody."

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