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89 Days 'Til Kickoff: Michael Williams' New Life in New England

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With 89 days to go until Bama-So Cal, a look at a recent #89.

Michael Williams TD against Michigan.
Michael Williams TD against Michigan.
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Michael Williams was a top defensive end/tight end prospect out of Pickens County High School, Alabama in 2008. After a redshirt year, he found regular playing time for the Crimson Tide on the offensive side, blocking for Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram en route to Alabama's 13th national championship.

As a sophomore, he became a starter and caught his first career touchdown on a 19-yard pass thrown by Marquis Maze out of the Wildcat formation in a 31-7 stomping of the Gators (Urban Meyer's nervous breakdown would soon follow).

Williams really started to hit his groove as a junior hauling in 16 balls for 191 yards and two touchdowns including the first of many Bama scores at Penn State. Alabama would go on to win another Crystal Football.

Williams capped off his Alabama career with another national championship due in no small part to his 24 receptions for 183 yards and 4 touchdowns, as well as his excellent blocking. His scores came against Michigan (pictured above), Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Notre Dame in the National Championship Game.

At Alabama, Williams was a part of one of the most celebrated offensive lines in Crimson Tide history.

11 offensive NFL Bama

He was selected in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. During his rookie season, Williams had to sit out due to an injury to his hand. The next season, he was moved to offensive tackle after the Lions drafted another tight end.

Over the summer of 2015, Williams was granted a new life as the Lions in the midst of a coaching change traded him to the New England Patriots who promptly moved him back to tight end. Despite playing behind All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, Williams managed to catch 3 passes for 26 yards. He played in 15 games with 9 starts. He has also played some fullback for the Pats and was in for 164 special-teams plays which included returning 3 kickoffs for 18 yards (likely pooch or on-sides kicks). Williams got his first and second tastes of NFL football playoffs this past January.

Williams told Al.com in January that he feels at home with the Patriots.

"Just what I'm used to," Williams said. "Back to Alabama style of doing things. It was more of what I'm used to and more what I'm comfortable with. And the surroundings, very rural, so (like) where I'm from. So, basically, it was just like a home away from home."

Looking ahead to the 2016 season, Williams looks like the #1 blocking tight end and he might just find himself the target of a few more passes.