Getting better: YSU coach Eric Wolford called linebacker Travis Williams one of the team’s most-improved players this spring. “He’s got a better understanding of what we’re asking him to do,” Wolford said. Williams said he played mostly on the edge in high school and in his first college season at Miami (Fla.), so it’s been an adjustment for him to play in the box. “I’m focusing on seeing pullers [offensive linemen pulling] and playing downhill and causing disruptions on the line,” he said. “I’m playing faster this year and getting fundamentally better.” Williams was second on the team in tackles last fall with 61 and had seven tackles for loss. But Williams had just one sack and one forced fumble and failed to get either an interception or a fumble recovery. “As a team, we’re really pushing to get our ‘disruption points’ up. We want to get more turnovers and big plays.” Williams said he’s been impressed so far with the new additions on the defensive line, specifically DT Octavius Brown (a 6-0, 300-pound space clogger) and defensive ends Derek Rivers and Vince Coleman (two edge rushers). He’s also been impressed with the development of DT Steve Zaborsky. “Those guys are all eating [up blockers], and me and [LB] Teven [Williams] are just filling in the holes,” he said.
Playoff payoff: While the expansion to 24 teams should make for an either path to the postseason, things will get even easier in 2014 when perennial powers Appalachian State and Georgia Southern join the Sun Belt Conference and Old Dominion and Charlotte join Conference USA. Both leagues compete at the FBS level. On Tuesday, Liberty University said it was also a candidate to join the Sun Belt.
First scrimmage: YSU will hold its first scrimmage on Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium. Practice begins at 10 a.m. with the scrimmage set to start around 11.