Kansas football top 25 difference-makers: No. 17, RB Dom Williams
Typically, when a college football program in rebuilding mode tries to upgrade its talent and lands a four-star recruit, the coaches grow edgy, fearing that a more established program will swoop in at the last minute to obtain the prospect’s signature on a letter of intent.
That certainly was the case with four-star running back Dom Williams out of McKinney, Texas, who played for Independence High in Frisco.
A speedy, shifty, 5-foot-10, 190-pound back, Williams was ranked by Rivals as the 17th-best running back in the Class of 2017. A four-time all-district and three-time first-team Class 5A all-state selection, Williams rushed for 1,928 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior. He never wavered in his commitment to Kansas and Kansas head coach David Beaty remains high on his potential.
“Man, I just got off the field and watched Dom Williams do some stuff that you don’t see young guys do very often,” Beaty said Saturday. “He’s talented. this dude can run. Great vision, great balance. We hit on him. There’s no doubt about that. I mean, he’s going to play.”
That doesn’t mean Williams, who wears No. 25, will start his career at the top of the depth chart at running back. It does mean he will have a shot to work his way to the top if he makes the most of the carries he receives. Beaty said he “needs to get better at the passing-game part of it.”
Beaty sounded extremely enthusiastic about Williams’ talent, but it’s Beaty’s nature to highlight what he likes about people. He also spoke highly of returning backs Taylor Martin and Khalil Herbert and walk-on Deron Thompson, a transfer from Colorado State.
“A lot of the running back stuff is they’re just instinctive, make guys miss and score,” offensive coordinator Doug Meacham said. “Their biggest mental load is obviously protection.”
Developing as a pass-blocker can limit the time freshmen running backs spend on the field, as can their tendency to fumble as compared to more experienced players.
If Williams proves a quick learner in those areas and in becoming a more sound receiver, that will carve a path that leads to more carries.
Meacham mentioned one trait about Williams that caught his eye when he said he had, “some natural shake that can make you miss.”