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Only Carlton Williams Days Until USF Football Season

This isn't the #32 you might have expected to see today, but it's someone who we should remember much more than we do.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

(EDITOR'S NOTE: If you were expecting to see D'Ernest Johnson here today, he switched numbers during the offseason. Or if you knew that and you were expecting to see J.R. Reed here as our former #32, we profiled him pretty extensively back in 2010.)

#32 S Carlton Williams
2005-08, 6'4". 210 lbs.

Career Stats: If I asked you to name everyone on USF's 2007 starting defense, how many names would you list off before you got to the strong safety, Carlton Williams? He might be the very last one you thought of, right? I bet you'd be amazed to know that Williams played in 51 career games, every game he could have possibly played in and tied for second-most in school history. And you'd be even more amazed to know that when he finished his time at USF he held the school record with 45 starts. Williams played both free safety and strong safety and recorded 234 career tackles, eight TFL, two sacks, and five interceptions. You could make a good case that Carlton Williams is the most overlooked player in the history of USF football, and maybe one of the toughest, considering the litany of injuries he played through. (One of which he really shouldn't have, in hindsight.)

How He Came To USF: Carlton was unusual for the Bulls in that he came to USF from a high school outside Florida -- but not far outside Florida. He played at Valdosta High School, just across the Florida-Georgia border, where he made 89 tackles and two INTs as a senior and helped the Wildcats advance to the 2003 Georgia AAAAA state championship game. Williams didn't make it to USF until the very end of fall practice in 2004 and redshirted that year.

Recruiting Rankings: Only Scout rated Williams out of high school, and they gave him two stars.

His Best Game: It was the best game for a lot of players on that USF defense, but in the famous 21-13 win over West Virginia in 2007, Carlton was the leading tackler in the game with 11. He ended a second-half Mountaineer drive with a tackle for loss on Derrius Raynaud, forcing a field goal. He also recovered a Steve Slaton fumble in the first quarter, forced by a textbook hit by Tyrone McKenzie.