« Football 2013

Avery Williamson

School

Kentucky

Position
Linebacker
Major
Integrated Strategic Communications

Classroom

As an integrated strategic communications major, students are required to maintain a ‘B’ average in required business-based communication courses. Students must also select a minor, and complete linguistic courses. Williamson’s grades have been consistent even as his classes have become more challenging.  He is on track to graduate in May 2014 after four years. This summer, while completing coursework, Williamson interned 20 hours each week in his field of study. He works his lifting and other football obligations around his coursework and his internship, which demonstrates not only his commitment to academics but also his solid principles. Kip Cornett, president of Cornett-IMS where Williamson interns, had this to say: “What is most impressive to me is Avery is one of the most positive and giving student-athletes that we’ve ever had. His upbeat and incredibly friendly nature has earned him the respect and confidence from our employees that rarely happen with a short-term internship. His willingness to contribute has led to assignments not normally associated with internships as well.”

Character

Williamson’s teammates look to him, because he does things the right way, through hard work and by following the foundation established by his parents. Both head coaches that Williamson has played under (Joker Phillips and Mark Stoops) have recognized his leadership qualities through hard work and by respecting others. Williamson makes an impact because of his consistency and being true to his principles. UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot had this to say: “In my short time being at Kentucky, I’ve learned that Avery is one of the best character guys I’ve ever been around. He’s a class act. He’s a tremendous leader and a student of the game.”

Community

Williamson has been very involved in community service projects during his three seasons at Kentucky. He traveled to Ethiopia in May of 2013 for a week-long community service trip where he interacted with residents of impoverished communities, visited imprisoned men, helped widows, cared for orphans and helped renovate houses. He also has participated in “Read Across America” by reading books to children at a local mall, served as a celebrity guest for UK’s largest student-run philanthropy, Dance Blue, which raised more than $1.1 million this year, volunteered for Big Blue U, helping UK freshmen move in their dorms, volunteered to pack and deliver food for God’s Pantry BackPack Program, while also staying to interact with the children at the school, volunteered at Kenneth Kennedy’s “Be a Match” Bone Marrow Donor Drive and was a volunteer bellringer for the Salvation Army. He also frequently volunteers to speak at local elementary schools and summer camps.

Competition

On the field, Williamson had a breakout junior season in 2012, earning All-SEC honors from Phil Steele’s College Football and CollegeSportsMadness.com. He is the returning starter at middle linebacker after finishing second in the SEC and seventh nationally in tackles last season. Williamson, who has played in 37 career games, started all 12 games for UK last season, posting eight double-digit tackle games, including a career-best 20 against Vanderbilt. The physical linebacker had a streak of four games with a least 13 tackles, becoming the first Wildcat to do so since Randy Holleran in 1990. Williamson also had 4.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, four pass breakups, two fumbles caused, one fumble recovery and an interception last season. For the 2013 season, Williamson is currently a preseason second-team All-SEC honoree by Phil Steele’s College Football and CollegeSportsMadness.com. He also is on the watch lists for the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Defensive Award, the Butkus Award for the nation’s best linebacker and the Lott IMPACT Trophy.