Sizing up his revenge

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

MONTREAL -- They call him a defensive tackle, but that hardly seems to suit Keron Williams.

He really looks nothing like a lineman, especially because he's 6-foot-1 and lining up against men nearly 60 lb. heavier than him.

Football is just one thing Williams is good at.

He draws, plays piano, does graphic design, edits video and cuts hair ... but right now, his specialty is sacking quarterbacks for the Montreal Alouettes.

"People don't realize it, but he's bit of a renaissance man," Als defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke said.

"He can do a bunch of things. I would imagine when his football career is over, he will be a successful entrepreneur."

It seems fitting for Williams the Alouettes are facing the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday's Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium.

Two weeks before this spring's training camp, the Stamps released the Massachussetts product because new co-ordinator Chris Jones wanted bigger bodies in the middle. Burke, Williams and defensive-line coach Casey Creehan were together last year with the Stamps, and within hours of that announcement, the trio was together again -- in Montreal.

Williams responded by recording 10 sacks, good enough for third in the CFL.

"We were really excited when Calgary let him go," Burke said about Williams, who became an East Division all-star this season.

"He fits into our scheme really well and probably didn't fit into theirs. This is his second year in the league, and he got a lot better.

"We thought he was a good player. Obviously, he has improved and matured."

At first, Williams felt slighted by the sudden release just days before he was leaving his home in Florida for training camp in Calgary.

"I felt they didn't see what I could do," Williams said about the new defensive staff.

"They were going off stats, size and my appearance. I didn't let that get the best of me because that would get me off my game."

When Williams was with the Stampeders, he was the unofficial team barber and would cut hair after practice for a measly $10.

Alouettes receiver Kerry Watkins has that role in Montreal, so Williams instead took to making highlight DVDs for teammates.

He learned these types of things to make extra money growing up, and he honed his skills with a razor by working on brothers Timothy, 17, and Matthew, 15.

Williams starts beaming when talking about Timothy, who is already a sophomore at Florida State.

"I'm more of a parent than a big brother," the 24-year-old said. "Timmy calls me almost every day for advice on college life, girls, peer pressure ...

"I'm learning how to be a father at the same time as being a brother. When he has a problem, my mother tells him to call me.

"I feel it's helped me in football because I'm prepared to be a leader out here. I'm the youngest one on defence, but I feel I should be a leader out there. That prepares me and moulds me to being the person I am."

Williams' best friend with the Stamps was linebacker and former Massachussets teammate Shannon James, and their families are close.

This Grey Cup meeting means a lot to them because James is thankful Williams landed on his feet after getting cut by the Stamps.

James, who is also considered undersized for his position, heard the criticism about Williams being too small for the grind of playing interior defensive line.

"When you have his speed and tenacity, it doesn't matter where you play," James said. "He played nose for us last year and had eight sacks.

"He hasn't even played his real position yet and that's defensive end. Just wait until that happens."

The size issue wasn't a problem for Creehan, who was making calls to Alouettes GM Jim Popp the second he heard Williams was available.

"He is undersized, but he's short, quick and thick, and that's the way I like them," Creehan said.


Videos

Photos