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Former Early County star, current UGA LB/DB Williams excited about home game, win streak

Bulldogs LB and Early County native Shawn Williams.

Bulldogs LB and Early County native Shawn Williams.

ATHENS -- Damascus native and former Early County football star Shawn Williams and his Georgia teammates finished a brutal road schedule Saturday when they emerged with a 24-20 win against Florida in Jacksonville.

So it's no wonder that Williams was giddy Tuesday during the Bulldogs' weekly news conference about finally getting back to Sanford Stadium this weekend to play a home game against New Mexico State.

"It's been a while since we have played a game at home, but I have been focusing on just getting ready for games," said Williams, who has played a big role in Georgia's six straight wins, four of which came on the road. "I'm excited to get back (Saturday) and play in front of the home crowd."

Williams, who was suspended for the first half against Florida after his role in an altercation at Vanderbilt a week earlier, had two total tackles against Florida and also lauded the play of the Bulldogs' youngsters who stepped up in his place.

"We have a lot of players who have stepped up and made plays for us this season. Mike Gilliard isn't a young player, but is getting an opportunity to play, is playing really good football right now," he said. "Amarlo Herrara is another guy who stepped up and played well when we had some injuries to the linebacking corps."

Williams, who has played both defensive back and linebacker for the Bulldogs this season and is expected to be back in the starting lineup this week, also warned that Georgia can't take a 3-5 New Mexico State team lightly, despite being favored by five touchdowns.

"They are a very athletic team. They have a playmaker at every position it seems like. The quarterback has a strong arm and knows how to get the ball to his receivers," he said. "I think they have a whole bunch of guys on the team that could play in the SEC. They pass a lot, and I hope to be able to get my hands on a ball or two and come up with some big plays."