Georgia's first 2017 NLL Draft pick ready to contribute to the NLL Champions
September 20, 2017By: Ty Merrow
The Georgia Swarm may not have many needs, but that didn’t stop the team from drafting more talented and high character lacrosse players. Proof of this is the team’s first selection in the 20
17 NLL Draft. Zed Williams (No. 4 overall, University of Virginia) has the Swarm’s front office, coaches, and players elated, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound Seneca Nation member who’s creativity and athleticism will fit in perfect with the Swarm’s unselfish and mean and clean ways.
Williams moved to attack in his senior season with the Cavaliers and took off, being named All-American (HM) by both USILA and Inside Lacrosse. Over his career, Williams recorded 131 points (75G, 56A) while posting a .268 SPCT, scooping up 162 ground balls, and causing 27 turnovers. The Irving, N.Y., native has plenty of experience with many Swarm superstars, something he discussed with GeorgiaSwarm.com:
Q: Congrats on being drafted No. 4 overall by the Swarm. How does it feel to be their first pick in the 2017 Draft?
Williams: I’m very excited and it’s a real honor.
Q: You’ve played with Swarm team captain Jordan MacIntosh, John Ranagan, and Joel White over the summer with the Rochester Rattlers (MLL) and then with Lyle and Jerome Thompson for the Native Sons (CanAm, Senior B Lacrosse League). Is it a relief to be on the team with players that you’re already familiar with?
Williams: Yes, it is. They’re very awesome guys. The time I was with them and got to play with them, they were very nice to me. I’m really appreciative of that. I’m excited to be playing on the same team as them again.
Q: Did they talk with you about the Swarm way and how important character is to the team?
Williams: (Swarm Owner and GM) John Arlotta called me last week, and we talked about it a little bit. We talked about John Ranagan, Joel White, Jordan MacIntosh and Lyle. He said how awesome of guys they are. That’s what their team’s about, and I’m really excited about that, too. I knew I wanted to play for him as soon as I saw they built their team off of character players, character guys like that.
Q: Going over to your collegiate career, you were switched to attack your senior season. What was that experience like for you?
Williams: It was good. It was really fun. I had played middie for three years and then I finally switched to attack, but I enjoyed it. It was fun.
Q: What did you pick up going over to that position that you feel will help your box game?
Williams: I feel like field and box are completely two different games, but at the same time, it’s lacrosse and I love playing lacrosse. I can never stop playing, and I just want to keep getting better. The coaches moved me to attack from middie, and I viewed it the same as whatever the coaches want me to do. I’ll give it my best at whatever they want me to do.
Q: How do you feel your game has evolved over the years?
Williams: More confidence in myself and I got a lot stronger and bigger and more mature throughout the past couple of years. Just little tendencies I pick up. Like I said, I can never stop learning, and I’m really excited about learning from great players and great coaches at the Georgia Swarm.
Q: How would you describe your play style?
Williams: I don’t like talking about myself a whole lot and describing the way I play. I feel like I play every game like it’s my last. I go into every game telling myself that and just reminding myself why I play the game and who I play it for and why I’m blessed to be able to run and play the game of lacrosse. I try to go out there, and I try to give it my best every time.
Q: During the draft, the Swarm stuck with the strategy they had last year of going with big guys on the defensive end for depth. That coupled with the offseason signings that the team has done already, it’s really going to be a competitive training camp this November. Ready for it?
Williams: Oh yes, it’s very exciting. I’m going to be ready to go when training camp comes, and I’m going to give it my best. That’s what I’m going to do. Just give it my best, give it my all, and see how it goes.
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