12 Players to Watch This Season: Marshawn Williams


Today we look at a player who I believe could play a very important part in the Hokies offensive plans this season.  This player like so many other Hokies is part of the youth movement from last year.  This year he is another year older, stronger and wiser.  Today’s player was part of a rejuvenation in the running game for the Hokies.  That player was the freshman beast Marshawn Williams.

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Marshawn Williams comes from that 757 pipeline, where so many other great Hokies have come from.  Williams is a beast in every sense of the word.  His physical stature and bruising running style can wear on the opposing defensive players.  If I had to compare Williams to any back in any league anywhere it would be to Marshawn Lynch.  Williams has that similar lower your shoulder and run straight thru you mentality which has served Marshawn Lynch well in his NFL career.

Last season Marshawn Williams was part of a dynamic freshman duo with Shai Mckenzie which brought back found memories of rushing duos from the past.  Williams was part of excellent depth at the running back position last season, however even he was not immune to the injury bug which played havoc on the Hokies last season.  Before his season ending ACL injury against Duke Williams was putting together a nice season.  Williams rushed for 475 yards on only 124 carries, and found the endzone four times.  Williams hit the century mark in yards on one game last season against Miami.  He was the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal Hokie performance that Thursday night.

Williams’s injury occurred late in the season, which put extra pressure on him to return for this season fully healthy.  Williams is back at practice this fall, even if he is limited, and he is working hard.  If Marshawn Williams is to return to one hundred percent the Hokies rushing attack will be an attack to be feared.  Williams I believe could be the “Hammer” type back that would complement the other speedy Hokie running backs.  Also, Williams’s size could allow the Hokies to run a power I formation, which could take a lot of pressure off of Michael Brewer.

There is talk that Williams could be in line for a red shirt this year.  When asked about the red shirt Marshawn said he would do whatever was good for the team, but he really didn’t want to red shirt.  I for one hope he does not have to red shirt.  His talent is undeniable, and losing such a bruising back would be a set-back for an offense that needs help getting back to prominence.

Whenever Marshawn Williams does make it back onto the field for the Hokies one fact is for sure, his impact will be immediate.  I do think I am not alone in hoping that his return is this season, and sooner than later.  The fact is Hokie Nation is in need of some beast mode this season.