Williams Shines in 60th Annual Senior Bowl
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 25, 2009 – Penn State’s Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.) delivered a standout performance Saturday night in the 60th Annual Under Armour Senior Bowl, gaining a game-high 124 all-purpose yards.
Just as he did throughout his tremendous career as a Nittany Lion, Williams was highly productive for the North squad as a receiver, runner and kick returner in the Mobile, Ala. contest. The South won the game, 35-18.
A 2008 first team All-Big Ten and second team All-America selection, Williams gained 89 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 44-yarder, second-longest in the contest. The 44-yard return gave the North the ball on its own 49 and set-up the team’s first touchdown drive in the second quarter. Williams also made two catches for 19 yards, returned on punt 11 yards and ran the ball once for five yards.
Williams was the 14th Nittany Lion to play in the Senior Bowl in the past six years. In 2008, All-America linebacker Dan Connor made a game-high nine tackles and grabbed an interception to claim Under Armour Award as the North MVP. Penn State standouts Levi Brown, Tony Hunt and Paul Posluszny played in the 2007 game, with Hunt earning MVP honors. Former Nittany Lion All-American Larry Johnson was MVP of the 2003 Senior Bowl.
A senior co-captain, Williams earned Walter Camp and Sporting News second-team and Associated Press third-team All-America recognition this past season He further solidified his status as one of the nation's most explosive and dynamic weapons in 2008. He caught 44 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns to move into third place on Penn State's career receptions list (161) and 10th in career receiving yards (1,743). The versatile Williams also ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns this past season.
Williams made an enormous impact on special teams throughout his career, returning two kickoffs and one punt for a touchdown in 2008, giving him five in total for his career, a Joe Paterno-era record. He ranks No. 5 in Penn State career all-purpose yardage with 4,516 yards. He returned 20 kickoffs for 515 yards in 2008, the fourth-highest yardage in school season history. Williams was second in the Big Ten with his 25.8 yard average.
The former Eleanor Roosevelt High School All-America led Penn State to victory versus Illinois, becoming the first player under Paterno to score a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a kick return touchdown (94 yards) in the same game while amassing a career-high 241 all-purpose yards.
Williams' big-play ability was instrumental in Penn State owning the No. 1-ranked scoring (38.9 ppg) and total offense (448.9 ypg) in the Big Ten, ranking No. 11 and 14, respectively, in the nation.