HOUSTON, TX (KTRE) - Its hard to find a more impressive player at Texans training camp up this point than former Stephen F. Austin star Willie Jefferson. From fifth string, to now working with the starters at times, Jefferson has caught the eye of both his teammates and coaches. The outside linebacker is taking advantage of every opportunity the Texans have given him and now the un-drafted free agent has a great chance to make the 53 man roster.
Jefferson said, When coach Kubiak pulled me aside one day and told me I have a shot to do what I'm doing now, I just took it to heart man. He told me you have to grind to shine so I'm just grinding."
In order to move up the depth chart, Jefferson watched the likes of J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith. At 6 foot 5, the former Jack is beginning to turn his skills into something special.
"I made a big improvement from my get off, my attitude and learning aspects of the game, how to keep going. Prove that I can get off the ball and be a menace to the quarterback," Jefferson said.
Some would call Willie a rising star who has made a huge splash during the first week of camp. Coach Kubiak and Smith however have their own way of describing the explosive linebacker.
Smith said, "I gave him the nickname 'too sweet' because that's what his moves are like. They are quick, yet swift you know."
Kubiak added, "He's a flash player right now. You know he's long, he can run. He has pass rush ability, which everyone is looking for in this league. He is very raw so we will have to see. We will see when we get to the preseason games, but he has been pressed into some pretty tough duty, but that's how you tell what guys are made of."
Coach Kubiak alluded to it, but some injuries have helped Jefferson get more reps with the first and second team and he is taking full advantage of his opportunities. Whether he stays there when guys come back remains to be seen, but coach did say he will definitely play special teams. The former Jack will also get plenty of chances to prove himself during the preseason.