In his first season at the University of Kansas, Dom Williams didn’t look too small to play running back at the college level.
A 5-foot-10 skill player from McKinney, Texas, Williams debuted at 190 pounds and rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns while playing nine games in 2017.
But when Williams takes the field this fall for the Jayhawks he will look noticeably larger as a sophomore.
During an appearance this past week on 1320 KLWN’s Rock Chalk Sports Talk, with Nick Schwerdt, Williams estimated he added roughly 20 pounds to his frame over the past several months.
“I would say just staying in the weight room, gained a couple of pounds,” Williams said with a laugh, while describing how he transformed his appearance.
According to Williams, his dedication to putting in extra work and spending as much of his free time as possible in the weight room allowed him to pack on extra muscle.
Of course, his diet played a role, too, and Williams said the team’s assistant sports nutritionist, Ricky Ng, kept him eating “all the right food.”
Heading into pre-season camp in August, Williams, a four-star recruit in KU’s 2017 recruiting class, thinks his added weight should help him become a more productive running back as a sophomore.
“I feel more powerful with all the weight that I put on and muscle. I feel like I’ve even gotten a little faster,” Williams added. “So I feel like I’m gonna make a difference this year just feeling more comfortable and knowing everything.”
In 2017, his first season at KU, receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. made eight catches for 92 yards while appearing in all 12 games.
Those who have seen Johnson’s progress during the off-season expect much more out of the 5-11 receiver from Santa Rosa, Calif., during his upcoming senior year.
Quarterback Peyton Bender said Johnson’s progress repeatedly has impressed him.
“He got a little bit of playing time last year but not a ton. In the spring I thought he looked really good just doing his job,” Bender shared. “Was in the right spot when he was supposed to be there. He just goes as hard as he can on every play. And he’s reliable out there. So you know he’s gonna be in the right spot.”
Johnson and Williams are just two of the many skill players the Jayhawks envision making the offense more productive this fall.
Receivers Steven Sims Jr., Evan Fairs, Jeremiah Booker, Quan Hampton, Ryan Schadler, Daylon Charlot and others are in the mix to aid the passing attack.
On the ground, Dom Williams, Khalil Herbert, Pooka Williams and Taylor Martin are among KU’s options.
QB Carter Stanley feels optimistic about the depth of talent within the offense.
“I think we had a nice spring overall. Nice seeing some guys step up, for sure, whether they were new guys or guys we’ve had here for a while,” Stanley said. “We’ve put in great work so far this summer, doing seven-on-sevens and player-led practices. But it’s been good work so far, and I’m excited.”