All Eyes On: Ryan Williams
By Anthony Casson
Who is he?
Ryan Williams is the extremely talented redshirt freshman tailback at Virginia Tech. He was a four-star running back, class of 2008, out of Manassas, Virginia.
Why is he so special?
Although it’s hard to ever think of comparing someone to the great Walter Payton, some of us see striking similarities to “Sweetness” in Williams’ running style. Williams certainly does not have that blow-back effect on defenders, like Payton did, but he still has a strong desire to put his head down when faced with large opponents. His body frame is destined to grow, even improving from his already-tough 5’ 10”, 206 lb stature. Remember, he’s only 19 years old…
What are his stats?
As previously mentioned, Ryan Williams is a redshirt freshman so any career stats only come from the current season.
Williams helped his team to a 16-3 victory over East Carolina Thursday night. Though he was unable to score, he ran 26 times for 179 yards. His gap vision and cut speed helped him maintain his place as Virginia Tech’s key offensive player on Thursday, at least other than their kicker.
Today, his total number of attempts is 189 and he has gained 1,109 yards. Despite not scoring a touchdown in either of the last two games (North Carolina and ECU), he has racked up 10 this season.
What should we expect in the future?
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has a real golden goose on his team. Everyone will know about Williams by the end of the season if they don’t already do, so I suspect his name might appear in pre-season Heisman candidates next year. The Hokies will be led by junior quarterback Tyrod Taylor in 2010, which will help keep them in the top 25 rankings. This mixed with Ryan’s natural talent and Beamer’s coaching skills will improve the youngster’s chances of grabbing the trophy.
The game against ECU marked Williams’ sixth time he has rushed for over 100 yards; his future looks brighter and brighter.
Before we move on, everyone needs to know one more thing about this young talent. Last week when the Hokies lost to unranked North Carolina, Ryan showed extreme emotions. These emotions had been brought about by a fumble, which ultimately helped NC win the game in the waning seconds of the game. That fumble also belonged to Williams. I don’t know if I have ever seen a more distraught, emotional football player before. His mother told the media Thursday night that he takes extreme pride in holding on to the ball; he just cried after the NC lost when he saw her. Every single day Williams puts in maximum effort. After all, he is trying to follow his hero, Walter Payton. Look out for No. 34