By Mason Kelley
Kasen Williams walked out of the Husky Stadium tunnel and made his way into the end zone. He placed a football on a kicking tee. He took a few steps back. With Cameron Van Winkle watching, the receiver tried to boot the ball through the uprights.
What happened? Well, let’s just say Williams won’t be switching positions.
“Hey, I can hit a 40-yard field goal, easily,” Williams joked after Thursday’s practice. “You might want to get the video camera out and put that on the Internet for people to see.”
In one brief moment of levity, Williams showed he is taking his recovery from the foot injury that ended his 2013 season in stride. He knows when to push his body. He knows when he needs to rest. He knows when to laugh.
The key is listening to his body.
“It’s pretty hard to do, because you don’t know what’s enough,” Williams said. “You don’t know what’s too much. Basically, what I’ve learned so far, is just hearing what your body is trying to tell you. If my foot is telling me I can’t go and it’s hurting, I cut it right there. But if it’s telling me to keep going, I’m not going to stop.”
After practice Tuesday, Williams’ body told him he could do more, so he spent extra time working on his routes with graduate assistant D’Andre Goodwin. They found a shady corner of the stadium, and the senior worked on properly planting his foot when he makes a break while sprinting downfield.
“Right now, because of my foot, I need to get back to running a lot more routes, because I kind of lost the feel for doing that,” he said. “I keep slipping at the top of my routes. That was a drill for me to plant my foot, come back to the ball and get my foot under me, so I don’t slip all the time. “
Through four days of camp, Williams said he is pleased with his progress.
“The fact that I’ve been going every single play for four days lets me know I’m ready,” he said.
At the end of each day, Williams returns home and pulls out a notepad. He writes down little reminders, things that help him visualize what he wants to accomplish this season.
• Every single day, I’m getting stronger, physically and mentally.
• Continue to have a positive mind.
• I’m not going to drop any balls.
“What I do is I reflect on the day,” Williams said. “I’m still writing. Coach (Chris) Petersen talks about how writing is a great tool for mental strength, and I was a firm believer in that before he said it.”
Whether he is kicking a football before practice, putting in extra work or reflecting on his progress, Williams is doing “whatever it takes” to make 2014 a successful season.