May 16, 2016
May 16, 2016
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State football head coach Mark Dantonio announced Monday that defensive tackle Kevin Williams (Holland, Ohio) has signed a valid Big Ten tender and will join the Spartan program for the upcoming 2016 season. Williams has spent the past five years with Nebraska (2011-15).
Williams received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA last November due to knee injuries, which prevented him from playing in 2011 and 2013. He graduated from Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in management in August 2014 and earned his master’s degree in construction engineering and management in May 2016. Williams, who was named to the Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll five times at Nebraska, plans on pursuing a second master’s degree in sports administration from Michigan State.
“We’re excited about the addition of Kevin to our football team,” said Dantonio. “We had a chance to get to know him during the recruiting process. He has the talent and experience to immediately contribute to our defense this season.”
“It was a little bit of everything on why I wanted to come to Michigan State,” said Williams. “I had a previous relationship with the coaching staff during the recruiting process in high school. I also got a good idea of how the program was run by being in the same conference. I knew that even after coming to Nebraska, Michigan State would have been a good route to go as well out of high school. I’m excited to be a part of a championship level program.”
The 6-2, 275-pound Williams played in 23 games for the Huskers, including four starts, during the 2012 (five games), 2014 (10 games) and 2015 (eight games) seasons. He recorded 27 tackles, including 10 for losses (37 yards) and three sacks (28 yards). In 2014, Williams collected career highs in tackles (19), tackles for loss (8.0 for 34 yards) and sacks (3.0 for 28 yards). He was limited last season to eight games after suffering a groin injury.
Prior to attending Nebraska, Williams had more than 260 tackles and 25 sacks in his final two seasons at Springfield High School. He recorded 111 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior to earn Division II Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in Ohio and also was a first-team all-state selection. Williams garnered honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior after collecting more than 150 stops, including 30 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. He was ranked one of the top 20 defensive tackles in the nation by ESPN.com and among the top 20 seniors in the state of Ohio by Rivals.com.