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Clemson transfer Jordan Williams brings winning pedigree to Hokies’ defense

Williams earned a ring after Clemson’s 2019 title game win over Alabama, but his focus now is on adapting to his new role on Tech’s D-Line.
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 4:05 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The front line of Virginia Tech’s defense got a whole lot nastier this offseason when redshirt junior Jordan Williams made the choice to stay in the ACC after leaving Clemson.

Being a part of a championship-caliber program with the Tigers, Williams believes these Hokies have the potential to tap into something special themselves this season.

“Just being around a winning program and just seeing how things are ran for four years, you kind of just try to compare it to that,” said Williams. “You don’t ever want to but, ultimately, it’s going to be what you’re used to. For me, just seeing how we click as a team, on and off the field, it’s definitely something that we’re capable of and I definitely believe in it, for sure.”

Williams earned a ring after Clemson’s 2019 title game win over Alabama, but his focus now is on adapting to his new role, and a second act on the Hokies’ D-Line.

“I’ve had different experiences that this team might not have had yet but I just try to show up and be me every day,” said Williams. “I was me for four years, whether it was at Clemson or here, but that’s all I can do is just show up and be me every day.

“It was tough at first. I was just kind of trying to feel my way out at first, trying to get to know the guys. But they welcomed me in. I was the guy that came in and was ready to work hard and learn and just be a sponge and soak everything in that I wasn’t used to for the past four years.”

Since getting to Blacksburg, Williams has also changed his body, dropping 27 pounds since leaving Clemson. Defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton said that should help him stay on the field for longer drives.

“He’s an athletic guy anyways, and I think having him slim down a little bit gives him an opportunity to be able to go more snaps consecutively,” said Hamilton. “And that’s really impactful when it’s first, second down, whether it be a 6-, 7-, 8-play drive, whatever it is, and third down, you need a fresh guy able to go, to me, that’s when it really comes in to play. But he’s where we wanted him to be. Glad he’s here.”

Williams has played in Lane Stadium before with the Tigers, but next Friday’s opener against UNC will be his first game there in a Hokies uniform. And there’s one tradition, in particular, he’s pumped to experience as a member of the home team.

“I’m definitely fired up for the ‘Sandman.’ Even when I came here my redshirt year, we came out, we’ve seen it, but it’s going to be different being on the other side of it,” said Williams. “We had the hill, and that’s something that’s a huge tradition in college football as well, but the ‘Sandman’ is something that’s like no other. It’s a huge tradition in Blacksburg, and I’m just looking forward to being a part of it.”

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