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DT Brockers a Kyle Williams apprentice

Posted Mar 1, 2012

It’s not uncommon for two NFL players from the same college program to befriend one another with their school being a natural connection. Bills DT Kyle Williams is almost six NFL seasons removed from his days of tearing of interior linemen in the SEC at LSU, but a fellow Tiger poised to be one of the first defensive tackles off the board this spring has made it a point to make Williams his mentor.

Williams, who lives just eight miles from his former college campus in Baton Rouge in the offseason, often uses LSU’s facilities for his training in preparation for the next NFL regular season. Several of his former college teammates do the same, and they openly interact with the current LSU players that are doing offseason training on campus themselves.

From the time Brockers arrived at LSU he took advantage of the opportunity to seek the counsel of an NFL veteran like Williams.

“I work out with Glenn Dorsey and Kyle Williams and all those guys,” said Brockers. “They all come back.”

But few are there as frequently as Williams providing Brockers the chance to sit down and ask questions of the Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

“I’m up there four or five days a week and he would come in and knew who I was and that I played defensive tackle,” Williams told Buffalobills.com. “When you get out there and start working out with those guys and run with the team you form a friendship and you talk and help them with whatever you can or what they have questions about. He’s been there for three years and I’ve known him for that long.”

Brockers was just a 250-pound defensive end during his redshirt freshman season, but eventually grew into a 6’5” 322-pound behemoth that showed up at the NFL Combine last week. Knowing defensive tackle was going to be his position Brockers’ questions for Williams came in rapid fire succession.

“I try to talk with (Kyle) as much as I can just to know what I have to do to be a Pro Bowler like Kyle is. I ask him all kinds of questions,” said Brockers.

Though he only was a full-time starter for one season, Brockers ability to control the line of scrimmage and make plays has him being discussed as one of the top three defensive tackles in the draft class, following his decision to forgo his remaining college eligibility with the Tigers.

“I feel like I did pretty good in the SEC,” said Brockers. “I feel like I accomplished a lot. Winning the SEC championship, playing in the national championship. I know we didn’t win the national championship, but I feel like everything I wanted to do was accomplished. I also wanted to help my mom and my family financially.”

Brockers seemed to play his best in the biggest games. In the BCS title game against Alabama he had a career-high seven tackles, including one for loss and a blocked field goal. In the SEC Championship game against Georgia he had six tackles, including two for loss, a forced fumble and a batted pass.

Despite being blessed with enormous physical gifts, Brockers sounds like he has his head on straight. He knows the NFL will be a step up in competition and is soaking up all he can from Williams to be prepared.

“We’ll sit down and talk for hours and hours about what I need to do and how I can make myself better as a player and an individual and I just talk to him all the time,” said Brockers. “He’s a good guy, a very good role model for me.”

“We’ve talked a lot about hand placement and how it works,” said Williams. “Offensive linemen all set different ways. One sets this way and another sets that way. So he would ask me what to do against a lineman that sets one way and a lineman that sets another way. Just different stuff like that.”

Williams believes Brockers has a lot of the physical tools NFL scouts and coaches are looking for at the defensive tackle position. Knowing the young prospect has the desire to improve his game only enhances the package.

“Every time I’ve been around him he’s always been a hard working guy,” said Williams. “He always asks questions. He’ll sometimes try to add some of the things I show him to his game, but sometimes he’ll come back to me and say, ‘You showed me this, but I can’t do that. Why can’t I do that?’ So I have him show me what he’s doing, so the want-to is there.

“He wants to learn how to be the best at what he’s doing. That’s a plus. There are a lot of guys in the league that just want to do it so they can have a job and get to play football. But there are only a handful that want to be the best at their craft.”

“I can only get better from now on,” Brockers said. “That’s really my mindset. I can only get better. So I want to push my potential to the next level. Kyle is helping me do that.”