Running into the future

Nov. 18, 2005, midnight | By Phillip Allen | 18 years, 3 months ago

Junior Ross Williams' transition to running back brings hope for next season

Last Saturday the Blazers missed the playoffs by just 14 points in a loss to Damascus, the number one team in the Washington, D.C., area. Despite the loss the Blazers had a tremendous year, finishing 6-4 and losing only to teams with winning records. But at one point in the season it didn't appear as if a winning record was in the cards. The Blazers came out of the gates to a dismal 1-3 record and appeared to be on course for another sub-.500 year. In the fifth game against Wheaton, starting running back Terrin Flowers-Jackson was out with an injury and the offense was again sputtering. In the third quarter of this monumental game, Coach Jeffery Seals decided to make a bold move.

Junior Ross Williams has been playing football for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Culpepper, Virginia, where his three older brothers all played, it wasn't long before, at the age of seven, he began to join them on the gridiron. From his first Peewee league game, he wanted to be a quarterback. "It just was my position," he explains. At his "position" he led his middle school team to a perfect 8-0 record and won all three games he started at quarterback as a freshman at Culpepper high school. So when coach Seals moved him to running back it came as quite a shock.

Williams stepped up to the task and, on his third carry from his newfound spot in the backfield, he scampered 60 plus yards for the score, a play that may have been the turning point of the entire season. After the run, Blair went on to win that game and the next four, until finally losing in their season finale.

Though Williams is used to playing quarterback, he does not really care what position he plays. He will do "whatever coach needs me to do to win the game," he explains. And with his natural ability, running back appears to be just the position for him to play. With a blazing 4.5 time in the 40-yard dash, bench press max of 225 pounds, a 6 foot 2 inch frame and sky high "hops" he can run past, run over or even jump over his opponents, qualities he attributes to his success.

These traits, along with the uncanny ability to make opponents miss, led to Coach Seals starting him on special teams as the punt and kick returner and even giving him a little time in the wide receiver role he has thrived in. This new role of "slash," or being able to play many offensive positions, is a role he fills fantastically. It gives him more opportunities to make big plays - an aspect of his game that he is particularly proud of. As Williams puts it, "I have been making long plays my whole life. It ain't unusual for me to break one no matter how I get the ball."

Williams gained upwards of 1500 total yards from scrimmage, including 900 rushing in only six games. With both Williams and now a healthy Terrin Flowers-Jackson returning next year, the Blazers will be running into the future. As senior offensive linemen Ian Procter predicts, "Next year our offense will have no worries. With two backs of their caliber, our playbook should really open up."

No matter where Williams plays, as long as he gets touches, the future looks bright for the Blazers football team.

Phillip Allen. Phillip Allen is a CAP junior who basically is a fascinating kid. Though he possesses little writing ability he was accepted to both the Communication Arts Program and now Silver Chips Online. He follows the Washington Redskins, Wizards and Nationals religiously. He plays soccer (for … More »

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