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September 29, 1966 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-09-29

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Williamson Battles

To Starting Spot

Yes, Virginia there is such a
creature as a non-tendered first-
string college football player.
Starting defensive tackle Dick
Williamson belongs to that rare
breed of men who, having first
been passed over by the college re-
crutiers, make it big in this age
of university "We-pay-as-you-
play" plans.

The story of this remarkable real good teams generally and es-1
junior gridder began in his grade pecially when Ron Kramer played
school days. "My father always there," stated Dick. "But after
had tickets to the Michigan home that, East Detroit didn't fare too
games, and I've always wanted to well, including my senior year
play for the Wolverines," remi- when we were three and five."
nisced Dick. It's probably because of the poor

Williamson comes from East
Detroit High where he played of-
fc nsive tight end his senior year.
"Up until 1956, East Detroit had

showing of East Detroit that the
collegiate scouts only took interest
in two of their football players;
Williamson and Briant Hansen
who went to the State University
of Buffalo. Departed coach Bob
Holloway scouted the Detroit area!
but passed Williamson over.
Dick Too Light
"It was because of his -light
weight that we didn't take much
of an interest in Dick atathe time,
related coach Dennis Fitzgerald.
"He only weighed 200 pounds and
that's a pretty light lineman ac-
cording to Big Ten standards."
"Sure, I was disappointed when
I wasn't asked to sign a tender
for anyone, but so would anyone1
else," declared Williamson. "But
I wasn't going to let that stop me
from going out for the freshman
football team." Dick did go out1
for football in his freshman year.
at Michigan and he became first-
string tight end.
Asked to Switch
Everything went fine for the 240
pounder that year but on the first
day of fall practice in his sopho-
more year he got a shock. "Coach
Elliott called me aside and asked
me if I would make the switch!
from offensive tight end to de-j
fensive tackle. I told him I didn'tI
know and I thought it over care-
fully that night." The next day
Williamson told Elliott he'd try
it,, knowing that the likes of Bill
Yearby and Chuck Ruzicka had

turned out the way he did in
spring practice."
It seemed that Dick was finally
set to take on a starting position
when misfortune struck him again,
this time in the form of mononu-
cleosis. He caught it in the middle
of the summer as a result of
weight training after working long
hours each day at his summer job.
"The first two doctors I went
to thought the swelling of my
throat was due to just an infec-
tion. Later, when I went to a hos-
pital to take some tests, they told
me I had a mild case of mono."
Mono Takes Toll
So Dick had to sit out the first
two weeks of fall practice this
year and it resulted in his losing
of the starting left tackle job. "The
6ther candidates just passed him
up ability-wise," Fitzgerald com-
mented. "It's too bad that his ill-
ness not only caused him to miss
two weeks of valuable practice but
also caused him to report out of
shape as a result of it."
"It was a pretty big blow to me
but coach Fitzgerald helped me

th' same for Dick as he found
himself again on the "suicide"
squads for the first half. But in
the second half. Dick took over
th? left tackle spot from Tom Goss
and he combined with the other
Wolverine defenders to hold the
Bears to onti tok n touchdown.
"Torn has had a slilht leg in-
jury all this fall and although it
hasn't kept him from playing, it
has kept him from operating at
xca, effi:icnc ," stated Fitzgerald.
"As of r' ht now. Di k is our
s a:. n 2 : e for th' North
Carolina game."
After two years of frustration,
those words of Fitzg rald are mu-
sic to Dick Williamson's ears.

Forming for Monday Nights
Sign-Up at the Michigan Union
Bowling lanes.
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the tackle positions sewed up for
that year.
"All that 1965 season I won-
dered if I had made the right deci-
sion. It took me a while to learn
the new position and I can't say!
1 jitjy-,,uishedi s mv s . f nt fll lnct t

306 S. Main 662-5573

JUNIOR DEFENSIVE TACKI E Dick Williamson is shown apply-
ing the final touches to a tackle that dumped California second-
string quarterback Barry Bronk (16). Williamson, who was out
for the first two weeks of practice with mononucleosis, saw limited
action in the Oregon State game. In the California game though,
he took over the left tackle spot and combined with the other
Wolverine defenders to hold the Bears to only one touchdown.

C zie Fids It Tough in NBA
ROSWLI E, N J. UP) - Former much time to work on anything with the other guys because you
Michigan star Cazzie Russell com- else but defense and I've worked get the ball a lot less."
pleted his first 60 minutes of ac- on that so much I've neglected the Eddie Donovan, general manag-
tion as a professional basketball other part of the game. er of the Knicks, sees a future for
player Tuesday night and said he "In this league, if a guy goes the 6-foot-5%/ Russell as a swing
was far from satisfied with his around you it's the most embar- man alternating between guard
performance thus far. rassing thing in the world. You and forward.
College basketball's Player of won't last too long that way. So Mostly at Guard
the Year spent 18 minutes on the I've been concentrating on stand- "We've played him mostly at
court as his New York Knicks ing in front of my man, fighting guard," Donvan said, "because we
suffered their third straight pre- off screens and making sure to gar Donov sim "bcasrwe
season defeat, losing to the Detroit stay back.
Pstons 120-117. "In college I used to go right to "It's harder to move from for-
Russell made three of six shots the board when the ball was shot, ward to guard.
and contributed four assists as he You can't do that here or your "His defense has improved since
continued the transition from col- man runs right by you." he reported."
le'ye forward to professional guard. It hadn't taken Russell long to "I haven't had any surprises,"
In three games he has made 23 learn some of the differences be- said Russell, "and it makes no
points and six assists. tween the pros and the collegians. difference whether I play forward
Transition Tougher "The pros are better shooters," or guard. The physical contact
"The transition to pro ball has said the former Wolverine All- doesn't bother me, either. I might
been tough-like I expected," he American. be pressing a little. It's hard work
said. "My defensive progress hasn't "You've got to handle the ball but you've got to keep working."
been bad but my shooting has pretty good and be able to shoot.
suffered because I haven't had too And you've got to learn to play I C A ^11

season.aul out a lot when I was trying to get
back into condition," observed
Top Tackle Williamson. "He had mono him-
Then in spring practice this year self once and he knew what it was
Williamson matured. "He came like." .
from way down the line to our In the opener against Oregon
top defensive left tackle," Fitz- State, Williamson still was second
gerald said, "He showed us he had string as he only played on the
a lot of guts in his sophomore kick-off team in the first half and
year when things weren't going saw limited action as a sub in the
too well for him. We were very second half of the lopsided affair.
pleasantly surprised when he The California game started much
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In our happy to note file:
MICHIGAN is listed as the eighth
best team in the country in to-
tal offense. The Wolverines have
a 405.5 yard average after their
two games against Oregon State
and California. Leading the coun-
try is WEST TEXAS STATE with
a 366.0 yard average.
* * *
LEN DAWSON, Kansas City's
veteran quarterback was named!
the American Football League's
offensive player of the week by
the Associated Press. Dawson, a'
10-year pro and the Chief's regu-
lar quarterback since 1962, gained
the distinction after his perform-
ance in the Chief's 43-24 rout of
the Boston Patriots last Sunday.
The 31-year-old former Purdue
standout passed for five touch-
downs, completing 20 of 32 passes
for 291 yards and moving into
the passing leadership of the
* * *
The Boston Red Sox placed
stress on an all-out youth move-
ment by naming 37-year-old DICK
WILLIAMS manager yesterday in
a bid to regain baseball respect-
ability, in the American League.
Williams, a former journeyman
utility player in the major leagues,
was picked to guide the Red Sox's
flock of young prospects after
leading Toronto, Boston's top farm
club, to two straight Internation-
al League playoff victories in his
first crack at managing. Details,
of Williams' contract have been
safely tonight after signing a con-
tract to manage the St. Louis Car-
dinals for the 1967 season. It will
be Schoendienst's third year as
manager of the Redbirds. He be-
came the Cardinal manager at the
end of the 1964 season after serv-
ingas a St. Louis coach for two
seasons, He succeeded Johnny

Keane who resigned to go to the
New York Yankees.
In another round of "who's got
the manager," the San Diego Un-
ion said yesterday that PRESTON
GOMEZ, a coach for the Los An-
geles Dodgers, will be named the
manager of the Cleveland In-
dians. Phil Collier, a Union sports-
writer, traveling with the Dodg-
ers, said the announcement will be
made after the Dodgers have com-
pleted their season.

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