“Get to Know Your Orange Man” returns for the 2020 season! And until we hear that the Syracuse Orange aren’t playing football this year, we’re doing these every Monday through Friday going well into August.
Name: McKinley Williams
Position: Defensive tackle
Year: (Redshirt) Senior
Hometown: Miramar, Fla.
High School: Dillard
2019 stats: Missed much of the season with a foot injury suffered in camp, but came back for the final three games to record eight tackles and a half-sack. Only playing in three games allowed him to get a redshirt for the year, though, which is why he’s thankfully back on campus this fall.
2020 projections: “Bear” is one of the keys to this team’s success on defense. Along with being SU’s top run-stopper, he’s a veteran presence for a front six/seven that will lack a ton of starting experience. He won’t blow up the box score, but will make it a lot harder for opposing teams to run on the Orange (a very clear problem for much of last year).
How’d he get here?: The then-defensive end picked Syracuse over a weird collection of offers like Pitt, Middle Tennessee and Idaho.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Scout said three, but everyone else said two stars. Booooooo.
Money quote: Team player, through and through.
“It was a lower-body injury, basically a muscle strain or whatever. I came back as soon as I could. I wanted to have more impact, help us get to a bowl game, but unfortunately it didn’t work out as planned. For the most part, being out there with the team is a great thing.”
Twitter feed: He’s a smart man, and does not have Twitter anymore.
Tweets of wonder: As always, it’s worth noting he’s an athletic freak.
Don't know too many people this size that can do a backhand spring @PoppaBearrr3 pic.twitter.com/NDt1dK3lsY— Dino Babers (@CoachBabersCuse) July 20, 2017
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Given McKinley’s nickname, “Bear,” how about 2015’s The Revenant. It’s a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio screaming and being by himself and fighting bears. But it’s also about overcoming overwhelming odds and comebacks — something Williams and Syracuse can probably find some inspiration in for 2020.
Interesting nugget o’interest: For the first time while he’s on campus, McKinley is the lone Dillard High School grad on the roster. For the last four years, the other has been Kenneth Ruff, who also shared a spot on the Orange line with Williams for part of the time at SU. Williams would’ve used up his eligibility this past fall just like Ruff if not for the redshirt.
Let’s get a look at ya: Not the best highlight but it’s tough to get individual video for him while at SU.