The Boston College Eagles are looking for playmakers in new head coach Steve Addazio‘s first year at the helm. Addazio has a long reputation as a run-first coach, so his focus has been on the backfield to find depth and talent that can carry the ball and the offense next fall. So far this spring, senior running back Andre Williams has answered the call.
Williams returns as the leading rusher on the team last season. He gained 584 yards on 130 attempts with four touchdowns in just nine games. The entire BC running game struggled to gain its footing last year, but Williams was by far the best of the bunch. He was the only rusher to get more than 80 touches last year and the only running back to score multiple touchdowns on the ground.
But he will have to be even better in 2013. First of all, he will be asked to stay healthy and on the field for all 12 (hopefully 13) games and be a strong, physical runner. He showed he can do just that in the final scrimmage of the spring, running over the Boston College defense on his way to three touchdowns. Afterwards, Williams gave credit for his success to the improvement of the offensive line:
“The o-line has really stepped it up. It’s been sort of an issue in the past, but I feel like coach [Justin] Frye has got them on the right tangent because everybody is clicking on the o-line.”
Improved play from the offensive line will be critically important both for opening holes in the running game for Williams and to keep quarterback Chase Rettig on his feet in the pocket.
However, everything is not great in the backfield even with the emergence of Williams this spring. There is a “frightening” lack of depth behind Williams, according to Addazio. Following the departure of Rolandan Finch, Boston College has been forced to look to converted defensive back David Dudeck, while George Craan has struggled to make an impact in the running game.
As of now, the load looks to squarely fall on the shoulders of Williams next season when it comes to the running game. Does he have what it takes to be an impact player in 2013?