Being “blue collar” refers something or someone that is hard-working and laborious.
Hialeah head coach Marc Berman called his defense for this upcoming season a “blue-collar” defense.
One player, maybe the most important player, has bought into the mantra – senior athlete George Williams.
Williams, the No. 18 player on the 2013 MST Super 25 – which ranks the top 25 seniors for the upcoming season -- Williams did a bit of everything for the T-Breds last season including tattooing “Blue” on one forearm and “Collar” on the other forearm.
Berman had high praise for the 6-foot, 225-pound athlete.
“George has been starting for us since he was a freshman,” Berman said. “He started off only on defense then we moved him to offense and he has been a big producer for us year in and year out.”
“I'd go as far to say that George Williams is the best football player that I've ever coached,” Berman boasted.
Very lofty praise since that list includes two Pro Bowlers (Samari Rolle and Chad Johnson), San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget, and Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier.
“I'm saying that George will have the same careers that those guys have had, but I'm saying that as far as natural football instincts and feel for the game and football talents – George is atop the list.”
Officially listed on the roster as a linebacker, Williams took snaps on offense as a quarterback, running back, and receiver; along with defensive duties which his hand in the ground as a pass rusher and playing multiple linebacker positions. Williams even held down the punting duties for Hialeah last year.
“Its amazing how many things George can do on the football field,” Berman said. “As good as he is on defense though, he may be even better on offense. This summer, at just about every camp he attended, when he lined up at wide receiver – he turned the camp out and impressed everyone with his skills.”
Williams has garnered over 25 offers – headlined by heavyweights Alabama, Louisiana State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and Purdue and most recently Central Florida. Some of them have even showed major interest in bringing him in to play on both sides of the ball.
Despite all of Williams' efforts, the T-Breds finished 2011 4-7, with the final game of the season being a 55-0 loss to Columbus.
This year, Williams – who has a 2.5 grade-point average – headlines a group of seniors that intend on improving Hialeah's fortunes this upcoming season.
“George isn't much of a 'rah-rah' kind of guy, he's not going to say a lot -- that's not the kind of leader he is,” Berman said. “He's going to lead by example. The guys will follow his lead, if he's doing the right things and is giving everything in practice and in games, everyone else will follow that.”
The right thing for Hialeah is something as small as staying with the program. A number of players have – for one reason or another – have left the Thoroughbreds through the years, but like Liuget and Lemonier before him, Williams decided to stay and could be rewarded for it in the long run.
“We're very close,” Berman said of his relationship with Williams. “Since his freshman season people have tried to get in his ear and lure him away from Hialeah. But he's kept his loyalty to this program and I respect him a lot for that.”