Darrel Williams wasn’t even LSU’s top running back recruit for the class of 2014, that distinction went to the nation’s top player Leonard Fournette, but Darrel Williams ran for more yards and scored twice as many touchdowns as Fournette and is my pick as the Tiger’s most underrated recruit for the No. 2 class in the nation.
Williams (Marrero, La. John Ehret) was a four-star recruit ranked No. 250 in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, the No. 20 athlete and the No. 16 recruit in the state of Louisiana. The 6-0, 227-pound back rushed for 2,201 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior. Fournette ran for 1,792 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.
According to Tiger Rag, it’s the best one-two combo in one class for LSU since 1982 when Dalton Hilliard and Garry James came to TigerTown together. It was Hilliard, who was considered the lesser of the two recruits, who left LSU as the most prolific rusher in Tiger history.
— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) February 5, 2014
I’m not ready to say Williams is going to rush for more career yards than Fournette, but I do think he will play a significant role as a freshman. With Jeremy Hill off to the NFL, we already anticipated Fournette playing a very significant role as a freshman, but Les Miles said both will “play very significant roles right away.”
I think Williams can be a very capable goal line back initially behind Fournette and Terrence Magee before developing into a player who sees a workload similar to what Magee saw in 2013.
Williams reminds me of a bigger version of former Tiger and current Chicago Bears back Michael Ford.He may never be a starter at LSU with Fournette in the same class and No. 5 running back Nick Brossette already committed for 2015, but with LSU’s penchant for a physical, downhill running game, Williams will have his opportunities to shine.
His biggest impact won’t be in 2014 as a freshman, unless there are injuries, but the three years that follow will prove that Williams shouldn’t have been such a sleeper on the recruiting trail in 2013.