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Get to Know Your Orange Man: #98, NT McKinley Williams

Now the full-time starter, Williams will be key to any potential defensive line improvements for Syracuse.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Name: McKinley Williams

Position: Nose tackle

Year: Junior

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 291

Hometown: Miramar, Fla.

High School: Dillard

2017 Stats: Made five starts and played in all 12 games for the Syracuse Orange, recording 25 stops and four tackles for loss -- sixth-most on the team.

2018 Projections: Since Kayton Samuels transferred, Williams is now the unquestioned starter at nose tackle, which will give him more opportunities to produce. Fellow defensive tackle Chris Slayton is already one of the better run-stuffers in the ACC. Both players spending more time on the field together might help solidify Williams as one too.

How’d He Get Here?: Pitt tried to earn his services and failed. He also had offers from Middle Tennessee and Idaho. Credit Nick Monroe and this staff’s South Florida connections with helping get Williams in the door.

What’d Recruiting Sites Say?: Two stars from everyone except the now-defunct (folded into 247Sports) Scout, which said three.

Money Quote: “... What did your momma do when you were home? You look like Slayton all of a sudden” — attributable to assistant athletic director Sean Edinger last year, when Williams arrived 40 pounds heavier.

Twitterfeed: N/A (smart man)

Tweets Of Wonder: With feats of strength like this, it could be Festivus all year for McKinley.

What movie would Dino Babers recommend for him?: William’s nickname is “Bear” and Disney Nature also put a film about bears (called “Bears”) back in 2014. Worth observing their tackling ability there, for use on the field later.

Interesting Nugget O’Interest: One of two Dillard High School alums on the team, along with fellow 2016 signee and defensive tackle Kenneth Ruff. Both players have put on over 40 pounds since arriving on campus, with Ruff adding 50 transitioning from linebacker to tackle.

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