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By LARRY VAUGHT
Question: What is there about junior linebacker Avery Williamson that makes you confident he will be a big-time player this season?
Joker Phillips: “Avery comes from a great family. Great mom and dad. He has got an awareness of his surroundings and is a really sharp kid mentally and physically he takes care of himself, and that’s important. People don’t understand how important it is to take care of your body and mind. Avery does that.
I am starting to see a lot of leadership from him. I think as soon as this last group walked out the door. You had Ronnie Sneed out of the meeting room and Danny Trevathan out and Winston Guy out of the linebacker meeting and Ridge Wilson, I think it kicked in to him and he looked around and saw, ‘I am the guy who has to step up.’ You are seeing that. He is not just leading that group. He is leading the whole team offensively and defensively.”
Question: Do you worry that sophomore linebacker Alvin ‘Bud’ Dupree might have too much swagger?
Joker Phillips: “I don’t think he has enough swagger about him at times. He is a real humble kid. Because of the things he has done around here on the football field and academically setting up tutors for his history group, I think he could have a little bit more swagger than he has even shown. I think that will kick in with him this year.”