Williams was a five star talent coming out of Ridge High School in Davenport, FL, but he struggled to find consistent playing time in a loaded Seminole defensive backfield. Despite the presence of talented junior running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr., Williams made the transition to offense in early September.
At the time of Williams’ move, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said of Williams, “He’s 6-foot-1, 232 pounds, runs a 10.5 100 meters, can catch, can run, is very natural with the ball in his hand, is physical, fast, learns.” And that was without having seen him play a snap at running back.
Now, nearly two months later, Fisher appears to have been right about Williams’ prospects. Even though he’s still learning the offense, Williams has been able to get on the field and has made the most of his opportunities. In fact, in his first game as a running back, he topped the 100 yard mark and had a 65 yard touchdown run on his first run against Nevada.
The play featured what might be Williams most alluring quality, speed. While his size jumps off the page, it’s his acceleration and top end speed that make him a rarity at running back. There aren’t many 230 pound running backs that can run like Williams can. It’s that simple.
He has shown great vision and balance with the ball in his hands, and if he can learn some of the subtleties of playing the position, he’ll likely be a better NFL prospect than Freeman or Wilder Jr. For the year, he’s averaging almost eight yards per carry, although that might be a tad inflated, as some of those yards came in mop up duty. He’s scored seven touchdowns and has run with a physical style that will translate well to the NFL.
One element that the Noles haven’t utilized much is Williams’ ability to catch the ball. As a former safety, Williams has outstanding ball skills and will undoubtedly become a weapon, catching the ball out of the backfield eventually.
Williams might be listed third on the depth chart, but someday he might become the best running back of the group.