Back in December of 2014, I was hosting my radio show "Sports Talk on the Palouse" on KUGR, a student-ran radio station on campus that some of you may or may not know about. Using the power of Twitter, I reached out to James Williams, senior running back of the Burbank High School Bulldogs to see if he was interested in coming on the show via phone. He immediately accepted my offer and that Friday night he gave a great interview, one that you'll all want to hear.
Williams senior season was cut short in September when he tore in ACL and was sidelined for the rest of the year. His torn ACL didn't waver any faith in running backs coach Jim Mastro who recruited Williams himself. In fact, one of the reasons why Williams committed to Washington State so early in the recruiting process (May 2014) was because the Cougar coaches promised him that he'd be their only tailback target they'd go after if he signed Crimson. Williams held offers from two other Pac-12 schools; California and Arizona.
As he is still recovering from his ACL tear, Williams will most-likely be redshirted this fall as the Cougars get ready for the new season. Once healthy in 2016, Williams will have to make quite the impression on his coaches if he wants to line up in the backfield. With Jamal Morrow, Gerard Wicks, and Keith Harrington all expected to carry the load for Washington State running backs these next couple of seasons, Williams will have plenty of time to mature into the running back the Cougars hope he can be.
One big question
How will Williams make a name for himself? Once healthy, he'll have to fight his way up into the depth chart with the aforementioned Morrow, Wicks, and Harrington expected to be listed above him in 2016. Perhaps the Cougars will draw up certain plays where they know Williams gives them the best option to be successful. In my interview with him, Williams says, "I love to catch the ball just as much as I love to run it," when asked by friends why he committed to pass-happy Wazzu. Could we see him be sneak through defenders on screens or blow through coverages on wheel routes?
Name - James Williams
Position - Running back
Year - Freshman
Height/weight - 5'11, 185 pounds
Hometown - Burbank, Calif.