What’s Stanley Williams’ ceiling in his second year at Kentucky?
It took Kentucky 10 weeks to realize what it had in Stanley “Boom” Williams. The true freshman split carries with several other players being named the starter against Missouri.
Williams led Kentucky with 488 yards and five touchdowns on 75 carries. The Monroe, Ga., native had 6.5 yards per carry, second to Nick Chubb in average for a running back with more than 100 attempts.
Williams provided several highlight plays in 2014, including a cutback touchdown reception during the first overtime against Florida in Week 3. The tailback lived up to his nickname during Kentucky’s final game against Louisville. Williams ran through three tackles en route to scoring a 14-yard touchdown, which was symbolic of how he carried the load of the Wildcats offense down the stretch.
In the same game, Williams rushed for a season-best 126 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, all while facing the nation’s No. 3 rushing defense. The former four-star prospect should be expected to build upon his impressive start as a sophomore.
Williams rushed for more than 100 yards three times in 2014, the most by a freshman in school history. He provided one of the few bright spots for a struggling Kentucky offense during the team’s five-game losing streak.
Aside from Williams, Kentucky’s offense lacked consistency in several areas during its final five games. In 2015, Williams is expected to take over as Kentucky’s feature back.
After making a successful adjustment to the college game, the tailback should carry the load for the struggling Wildcats offense. The biggest factor to Williams’ success in 2015 will be how often head coach Mark Stoops decides to use him on running plays.
For weeks, the Wildcats gave a fluctuating amount of carries to their running backs, which resulted in quarterback Patrick Towles having the team’s most rushing attempts. Williams needs to be the first option in a lackluster Kentucky offense that lacks a veteran presence at wide receiver and tight end.
Williams has a high ceiling in 2015 and should continue his impressive development as a sophomore.