Tre Williams has been to Athens before.
Since then, though, has been an interesting journey. You get that coming to Fayetteville from Columbia, Mo., by going to Houston first.
It's probably not a coincidence the graduate transfer came to Arkansas because defensive coordinator Barry Odom was one of Sam Pittman's first hires.
"We have a real special relationship," Williams said Tuesday after practice. "Everybody on the defense has a real special relationship. Everybody on the offense has a real special relationship with Barry Odom."
It's not the first time we've heard that. After Odom was unceremoniously dumped at Missouri following the 2019 season, Pittman didn't waste any time getting in touch with him.
Now we know why. You can bet Pittman knew these things before he went after Odom and that's why he did it. Since then Pittman leans on Odom for a lot of things that go beyond defensive game plans.
Williams said it's the complete package with Odom.
"The way he prepares us, the way he talks to us and gets us riled up," Williams said. "The way he lets us know we're family and all we've got is each other.
"It's what I love about Barry Odom."
Add in a little bit of creative game planning and seeing the results on the field seems to make the players want to play for him.
"He always gives the other team a hard time," he said. "We're bought into the system."
READ MORE: Sam Pittman's Message to Georgia Defensive Coordinator Dan Lanning
Williams is a big part of why the results are showing on the field this year. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after the 20-10 win over Texas A&M last Saturday.
"That was my first defensive player of the week, so it felt good to actually do it here," Williams said. "I planned on coming here and doing everything I said I was going to do. Just being able to dominate at end and encourage my teammates.
"Actually being able to see it come to life was pretty nice."
Now the road gets a little harder. The eighth-ranked Hogs go to Athens to face No. 2 Georgia.
"For my teammates that haven’t seen an environment like that, I’d just say, ‘soak in the moment ... live in the moment,’" Williams said. "It’s going to be a heck of an environment."
If the crowd gets going, there won't be any way to hear the guy they're line up beside.
"Focus on your keys, look to the sideline, get the play, execute, go hard," was what Williams told his teammates. "Just do what you’re supposed to do. Do your job, and we’ll come out with something nice."
Williams is tied for sixth on the team with 15 tackles, which leads all defensive linemen. He has already racked up four sacks this year, more than double the number produced by an other Razorback player.
Everybody else on the defense has combined for six sacks total. The last time any Razorback had more sacks in an entire season than Williams so far was 2019 (Jamario Bell, 4.5).
One of the biggest questions before the season was getting pressure from the defensive front.
That's been answered a third of the way into the season. Saturday will be another huge test.
Williams has seen that before.
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