With the loss of three key defensive linemen heading in to the 2016 campaign, Mark Dantonio needed help. Fast. He got some from a graduate transfer. MSU announced the graduate transfer (eligible to play immediately) Kevin Williams, DT from Nebraska has joined Spartan Football.
The Spartans went hard after Williams when he was coming out of high school, so they know the young man’s ability. While Williams is very talented, his has struggled with multiple injuries that have sidetracked him.
Williams had a knee injury in 2011 that caused him to redshirt. In 2012 he played in five games as a redshirt freshman. In 2013 he sat out the entire year with another knee injury. 2014 was his most productive season playing in 10 games. Last season he endured nearly an entire season with multiple injuries, but he did manage to play in eight games. Williams received a medical sixth year of eligibility because of his injury that forced him to miss the 2013 campaign.
In August of 2014 Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in management. He has spent the last two years working on his master’s degree. Because of already obtaining his undergraduate degree, Williams is allowed to use his sixth year medical season as a graduate transfer.
Williams is a five time Husker Scholar-Athlete honor roll member and very active in community outreach.
When healthy Williams is a contributor, so on a Spartan team looking for some depth he has to at least give the Spartans a sense of comfort on a DL that is very talented, but very think on experience. Here is the entire press release sent out by Michigan State:
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State football head coach Mark Dantonio announced Monday that defensive tackle Kevin Williams (Holland, Ohio) has signed a valid Big Ten tender and will join the Spartan program for the upcoming 2016 season. Williams has spent the past five years with Nebraska (2011-15).
Williams received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA last November due to knee injuries, which prevented him from playing in 2011 and 2013. He graduated from Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in management in August 2014 and earned his master’s degree in construction engineering and management in May 2016. Williams, who was named to the Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll five times at Nebraska, plans on pursuing a second master’s degree in sports administration from Michigan State.
“We’re excited about the addition of Kevin to our football team,” said Dantonio. “We had a chance to get to know him during the recruiting process. He has the talent and experience to immediately contribute to our defense this season.”
“It was a little bit of everything on why I wanted to come to Michigan State,” said Williams. “I had a previous relationship with the coaching staff during the recruiting process in high school. I also got a good idea of how the program was run by being in the same conference. I knew that even after coming to Nebraska, Michigan State would have been a good route to go as well out of high school. I’m excited to be a part of a championship level program.”
The 6-2, 275-pound Williams played in 23 games for the Huskers, including four starts, during the 2012 (five games), 2014 (10 games) and 2015 (eight games) seasons. He recorded 27 tackles, including 10 for losses (37 yards) and three sacks (28 yards). In 2014, Williams collected career highs in tackles (19), tackles for loss (8.0 for 34 yards) and sacks (3.0 for 28 yards). He was limited last season to eight games after suffering a groin injury.
Prior to attending Nebraska, Williams had more than 260 tackles and 25 sacks in his final two seasons at Springfield High School. He recorded 111 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior to earn Division II Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in Ohio and also was a first-team all-state selection. Williams garnered honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior after collecting more than 150 stops, including 30 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. He was ranked one of the top 20 defensive tackles in the nation by ESPN.com and among the top 20 seniors in the state of Ohio by Rivals.com.