Mike Casazza

Big 12 Aims High For 2014 Draft

Created on May. 03, 2013 10:39 AM EST

No. 5: Williams' First Impression Can Be Topped

As unfair as it may seem to say this, Oklahoma running back Damien Williams can be better in 2013. True, the first-year junior college transfer finished with 946 yards and 11 touchdowns and managed 5.5 yards per carry, but he was with a record-setting quarterback and played much of the season on a bad ankle.

With Landry Jones now backing up Ben Roethlisberger in the NFL, the ankle healed and the strength of the offense clearly in the hands of the running backs, Williams should soar next season. Can he approach his 2011 numbers of 1,931 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore at Arizona Western? Probably not, but he can be better.

A 95-yard touchdown run with shifty mid-field moves highlighted a 167-yard day against Texas, but Williams hurt his ankle two games later against Notre Dame and had just one 100-yard game and one game with better than 5 yards per carry the rest of the season — and both came in the regular-season finale against TCU, a week after he carried just seven times against Oklahoma State.

Add his skills as a receiver — 34 catches, 320 yards in 2012 — and 6.0 yards per touch will be welcomed by an NFL offense.

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