Career: Played in 47 career games with 31 starts at middle linebacker ... Savored his best season in his final year of eligibility ... Totaled 254 career tackles, 20 career TFL's and 9 career pass breakups ... Member of senior class that won 34 games and helped NU notch four consecutive bowl-eligible teams with three straight bowl appearances ... Elected to NU's 10-player Leadership Council for a second straight year.
2010: Started all 13 games at middle linebacker ... Named a fourth-team preseason All-Big Ten linebacker by Phil Steele's ... Named to Phil Steele's third-team Midseason All-Big Ten squad ... Ranked 11th in the Big Ten with 7.4 stops per game ... Set a career high in his final game with 14 tackles vs. Texas Tech in the TicketCity Bowl ... Registered seven tackles with one TFL at Wisconsin ... Credited with eight stops and one QB hurry vs. Illinois ... Five tackles -- including one 7-yard pass sack -- one pass breakup and a QB hurry vs. Iowa ... Tied for a game high with 11 tackles, including 2.0 TFL's, at Penn State ... Posted seven tackles at Indiana ... Five stops against Michigan State ... Led 'Cats with 11 tackles with 1.5 TFL's against Purdue ... Eight tackles, with one TFL, at Minnesota ... Against Central Michigan, collected six tackles with a career-high-tying two TFL's ... Two stops vs. Illinois State ... Team-leader with 12 tackles at Vanderbilt, including one TFL ... Also forced one fumble against Vandy ... Named NU's Defensive Big Playmaker against Vanderbilt and Purdue and Defensive Player of the Week vs. Iowa.
2009: Played and started in 12 games ... Led team and ranked 15th in Big Ten with 7.17 tackles per game (86 on the year, second to Quentin Davie who played one more game) ... Totaled seven tackles, 2 TFL's (one of them a sack) and a pass breakup vs. Auburn ... Posted seven tackles and a pass breakup in win over Wisconsin ... Recorded a forced fumble and his second career interception to go along with seven tackles at Illinois, earning team's co-defensive big playmaker of the week honors ... Four tackles at Iowa ... Led NU with seven tackles -- including one TFL -- against Penn State ... Five stops in NU's win over Indiana ... Tied for the team lead with 11 stops and notched one TFL at Michigan State ... Racked up a team-best 12 tackles as well as his first career interception vs. Miami ... Six tackles at Purdue ... Returned from injury vs. Minnesota to record four tackles and one pass breakup ... Against Eastern Michigan, finished with nine tackles (seven solo), one TFL and one pass breakup ... Notched seven tackles and 1.5 TFL's in season-opener vs. Towson ... 2010 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recipient.
2008: Starting linebacker (started last six games after Malcolm Arrington suffered a season-ending injury against Purdue) ... Averaged 9.3 tackles per game after moving into the starting lineup at Indiana ... In 2008 Alamo Bowl, tied a career-best with 12 total stops, including one TFL ... Notched 10 tackles and one pass breakup vs. Illinois ... Tied for team lead with seven stops at Michigan and had one pass breakup ... Against Ohio State, posted a career-high 12 tackles and 1.5 TFL's ... Eight tackles (and a career-best six solos) at Minnesota, including his first career sack for an 11-yard loss ... At Indiana, recorded seven stops in his first career start ... Four tackles against Purdue, after replacing Arrington ... Two stops against Michigan State ... Recorded two tackles against Southern Illinois and Duke.
2007: Reserve linebacker ... Credited with a season-high four tackles vs. Nevada ... Two tackles vs. Duke ... Named NU's special teams player of the week vs. the Blue Devils.
2006: Did not see action.
High School: SuperPrep All-Northeast Region linebacker ... Rated 36th-best player in Pennsylvania by SuperPrep ... Ranked 43rd in state by Rivals.com (ninth-best linebacker) ... 2005 first-team all-state selection ... Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fab 22" and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25" ... Two-time first-team All-WPIAL (2004-05) ... Pennsylvania Football News first-team all-state selection ... Team captain ... Vikings' all-time leading tackler (277) ... Totaled 88 tackles (13 TFL's and 5.5 sacks) in 2005 ... Also compiled 242 rushing yards as a running back/fullback as a senior ... Scored 12 career TD's ... As a junior, filled in at running back and ran for 154 yards on 23 carries and scored all three TD's in a 21-14 win ... Also added 13 tackles and two sacks in that game ... Played in Ohio/Pennsylvania Big 33 All-Star game, helping Pennsylvania to a 61-42 victory ... Helped the Vikings, perennial state powers, win the WPIAL state championship in 2004 and '05 ... Three-time AAAA East champions ... Named to the top 100 YMCA Scholar-Athletes of western Pennsylvania ... Hails from the same high school that produced NFL stars Dan Marino and Marc Bulger ... High Honor Roll ... Two-time Student of the Week ... Also lettered in wrestling, baseball and track ... Coached by Terry Totten.
Personal: Born Nathan Alexander Williams ... Son of Evie (deceased) and Jerry Williams ... His younger brother, Quentin, was a defensive end for the Wildcats ... Learning and organizational change major and business institutions minor.
The Williams File
Q: Name five favorite songs (and artist) on your I-Pod:
A: Bulls on Parade by Rage Against The Machine, Murder Incorporated by Bruce Springsteen, Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks, My Town by Montgomery Gentry, Back Where I Come From by Kenny Chesney
Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned?
A: To not learn lessons the hard way
Q: A song that best describes you?
A: Guys Like Me by Eric Church
Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is:
A: I am very artistic, can paint and draw well, and enjoy cooking.
Q: My favorite place to visit is:
A: My home in Pittsburgh to see my friends and family
Q: Best part about being a Northwestern football player is:
A: The opportunity to obtain a great education, and being able to form great friendships with the team.
Q: Most humbling experience:
A: Participating in the Big33 game, it was a week long event and we reached out to a lot of underprivileged and disabled children during the time spent there.
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
A: Winning a state championship and being considered as one of the best teams in Pennsylvania state history
Q: The best book I have ever read is:
A: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Q: The person that inspires me the most is:
A: My mother
Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be:
A: Jerome Bettis
Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?
Q: My favorite food is:
A: A Primanti Brothers sandwich from Pittsburgh
Q: My favorite thing about playing at Ryan Field is:
A: Playing on grass, I've play on turf for the most part of high school and always enjoyed games on grass.
Q: Best thing about Northwestern is:
A: The great education, and the ability to visit Chicago and having a beach within walking distance.
Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight would be:
A: Coming up with a big hit, causing a fumble and recovering the fumble for a touchdown in the Rose Bowl.
Q: My favorite television show is:
A: 24 and Seinfeld
Q: My football-related superstition is:
A: Clipping my fingernails before games, started in high school.