ATHENS — Mykel Williams came roaring back into relevance in spring drills, perhaps on track for the “train wrecker” duties Georgia’s defensive line needs.

“It’s extremely important, it’s something we preach,” Williams said, after turning in what would have been Defensive MVP honors in the annual G-Day Game if there were such an award.

“We preach havoc.”

The Bulldogs’ defensive line has certainly practiced havoc as well, facing off against a Georgia offensive line that ranks among the best in the nation.

Coach Kirby Smart had given indications throughout sprig drills that the UGA offensive line had been getting better of the defensive front.

Williams and his defensive mates sought to do something about that last Saturday in the team’s only public scrimmage.

The First-Team Defense’s “Black” squad was leading 7-3 in the second quarter when the First-Team Offense’s “Red” squad was driving, facing a third-and-goal at the 4-yard line.

Carson Beck, Georgia’s co-Heisman Trophy favorite and an NFL quarterback in the making, looked to fire a strike into the front corner of the end zone to Arian Smith when Williams disengaged from left tackle Earnest Greene lll and leaped high to deflect the pass.

The ball went some 12 feet into the air, giving Williams time to locate it and bring down the momentum-changing interception.

“Havoc includes batted balls, so that was a win for us,” Williams said. “It’s the first time I came down with a pick, but I have tipped the ball before. It took me two or three seconds to find it.”

Offensive coordinators could have trouble locating Williams from play to play, as he now splits his time between defensive end and the “Jack” outside linebacker position, in addition to getting some third-down pass rush snaps at defensive tackle.

Williams explained how the defensive end plays with its hand in the dirt and is primarily effective against the run, while the outside linebacker can play standing up and is more apt to make plays in open space.

Wherever he lines up, Williams figures to help lead the charge for a defensive line that faded from No. 1 in the nation against the run in 2022 to No. 18 in 2023.

Smart noted Williams has had a more healthy offseason than following his Freshman All-American campaign, and therefore has been able to practice more he can carry on to the scrimmage action.

Williams, meanwhile, indicated the defensive front won its pride back with the G-Day performance, even while the game ended in a 20-20 tie.

“I feel like we kind of won today, but it’s not up to our standard because we gave up 20 points,” Williams said.

“But we held our own.”