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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 22, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Video — Kasen Williams talks about Apple Cup rivalry and freshman season

For a lot of the younger players on the UW roster, the Apple Cup becomes a rivalry they learn about as their careers progress.

But true freshman receiver Kasen Williams comes in knowing all about it, growing up as the son of former UW receiver Aaron Williams, who lettered from 1979-82.

“He didn’t instill hate in the Cougs but he wanted to make sure that I didn’t go there being recruited,” Williams said today with a little smile. “Every time I’d say something about the Cougs, he’d make sure that I knew that that was the wrong thing, to say anything good about them. So I don’t necessarily hate them, but I feel the hatred from this team and it’s a rivalry that’s going to go down.”

Williams also has some personal ties to the game with former high school teammates Gino and Jordan Simone now playing for WSU.

“This week we’ve been having some conversation because three receivers from Skyline are going to be in this game with me and (William Chandler) and Gino Simone and his brother Jordan Simone, so it’s going to be fun to play against them. That’s something I’ve been looking forward to ever since high school.”

The game concludes the regular season for Williams, one of the more highly-rated recruits to sign with UW in a while after being named the Parade Magazine All-America National Player of the Year.

Williams has gotten the first two starts of his career the last two weeks and ranks fourth on the team in receptions with 28 for 334 yards and four touchdowns. He has half of those catches in the last three games.

“I feel like this year has been extremely productive,” he said. “Yeah I didn’t get the looks until later in the season, but I still took the opportunity to grow as each game progressed and I was still working on the things that I needed to do for times like this, times like playing Oregon here, just opportunities like that, catching the ball when it’s thrown to me.”

One ball he laments not getting, however, came in the fourth quarter at Oregon State when Keith Price tossed a pass his way near the end zone. OSU safety Ryan Murphy stepped in front of the pass to rip it away for an interception that essentially sealed the win for the Beavers.

Williams said he thinks that’s a play he’ll make in later seasons and said receiver coach Jimmie Dougherty told him earlier in the day about how even Michael Jordan failed in the clutch, but learned from those misses to succeed in later opportunities.

“I see it the same way,” he said. “I missed passes and all that does is build me and get me stronger for the next time the ball comes my way.”

Asked what he’d do differently on such a play the next time, he said: “Just expect contact. I think when the ball came to me and I got the contact, I kind of tensed up and I lost my hands a little bit, and I just think it was coming from that contact and I just didn’t expect something like that to happen.”

You can see some of Williams’ session with reporters today in the video below:

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