Running back Darrel Williams was stacked behind Leonard Fournette, Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard in his first season at LSU in 2014, but he and Fournette are now the focal points at the position. Williams chats about last season and how, at the ripe old age of 20, it feels to be the ‘older’ guy in the backfield.
How did it feel at the start of preseason camp after just trying to get your feet wet last year as a true freshman?
I’m getting more repetitions because me and Leonard (Fournette) are the two main running backs. This year, we’re like Kenny and Terrence (both seniors last year). So this year, we had to step up to the plate.
Our first year coming in, we were just learning the system and we didn’t really know too much. But now, we have it down pat and we have to teach the young guys (freshmen Derrius Guice and Nick Brossette) like Kenny and Terrence taught us.
How does it feel to be in that role even though you guys are only sophomores?
It’s not too bad, not as bad as everybody makes it seem.
So you and Leonard are the ‘old’ guys now (laughing)? How old are you?
I’m 20 (laughing). I’m older than Leonard, he’s 19.
Your high school coach said you could challenge Kenny, Terrence and Leonard for a starting job last year. Did you come in believing you could be a starter?
Yes, sir, that’s always my mindset because I’m a competitor. I love to compete and that’s what I wanted to do was come in and earn me a position. It’s the same thing this year.
Were you a little nervous about it last year because you were a young wide-eyed freshman?
I wasn’t nervous at all. I really didn’t get the system that good because I was just coming from high school. There, you pretty much were just running. At the college level, you have to be patient and let your blocks set up and wait for it to happen.
It was a whole lot different. It took me the whole summer and a little bit of August during preseason camp to get comfortable. But after that, I pretty much got everything.
You would have liked more carries last season, but you did get a lot of snaps even with those two seniors in front of you. Did that tell you something?
It was a learning process for me, just getting to know everything — the different concepts and the (pass) protections and learning the blocking schemes.
How comfortable did you feel in spring practice?
That was great, I was much more comfortable because I actually knew everything. I had the offense down pat, and I knew the defenses and the different coverages they were going to be in. The game is more faster now because I’m just more used to it.
“I don’t know anything about that ... but yeah, he loves talking (laughter).”
— RB Darrel Williams, on backfield mate Leonard Fournette not being held out of media interviews during the early days of camp.
No injury report available (scrimmage closed).
Next three up
SUNDAY: Media Day, 3:30 p.m.; Fan Day, 5 p.m. (no practice).
MONDAY: Practice, 8:45 a.m.; 4:15 p.m.
TUESDAY: Practice, 4:15 p.m.