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2020 Fall Camp Report #8: Donte Williams Discusses the DB Unit

Oct 21, 2020

There are plenty of first-year coaches at USC, including cornerbacks coach Donte Williams, who's hoping to make an impact on USC's secondary.

  • Sophomore CB Chris Steele said that the biggest difference he's seen with the new defensive scheme, led by new DC Todd Orlando, is physicality. "Just the energy level that we come with to practice every day," Steele said. "Last year everything was kind of toned down, but this year all the coaches come out with a lot of energy and everybody really competes like it's a game. We really treat practice like it's a game."
  • Williams said that he's used to bringing the energy, but first-year safeties coach Craig Naivar has him beat on that front. "It's like peanut butter and jelly, we go together pretty well," Williams said. "We feed off each other's energy. I'm so used to being the guy that's the firecracker and everything, but Craig is already that guy. So I'm more of Dr. Phil right now, so it fits."
  • Williams said he will rotate the CBs during games, especially because some of them will play special teams as well. "Every day is a competition," he said. "I never believe in first string, second string. It's an organizational depth chart. It's always evolving. And that's why practice is so competitive, because if one of them stops practicing the way they that they need to practice for a day, they can get passed up."
  • Williams outlined the way he motivates his CBs based on their personalities. "Olaijah [Griffin] definitely likes the show," he said. "He's an entertainer. So if you like the show, nobody wants to go to the show and get booed. So he's going to make sure that he puts a show on every week. And he does it multiple ways, whether it's returning or playing corner. My biggest thing is making sure he feels like when he goes in there, he's a gladiator and he's stepping into Roman times in the arena."
  • Steele, meanwhile, is very competitive. "He wants to show everybody he's the baddest dude on the field," Williams said.
  • Both DBs have been impressed with QB Kedon Slovis' progression from Year 1 to Year 2. "He's really an NFL quarterback playing college football right now," Griffin said. "There will be plays when I make a good play, break on the ball, and he just fits it in a spot where I just can't reach, even if I'm doing everything correct."
  • Steele added that "Kedon's definitely going to be somebody to watch out for this year. I think he's going to be in the race for the Heisman eventually. He's that talented. He makes some throws that he probably wouldn't have made last year, so it lets me know that he's been working this offseason."

Gallery: (10-20-2020) USC Football Practices in Game Jerseys