Rawleigh Williams III has put up monster numbers for Bishop Lynch High in Dallas this season.
Through seven games, the three-star running back leads the Dallas-Fort Worth area with 1,704 yards and 23 touchdowns on 184 carries. That means he nearly averages a first down (9.3 yards) every time he touches the ball.
His best performance came against John Paul II High in Plano, Texas, in which he ran for a school-record 401 yards and tied his own school record with six touchdowns on only 21 carries.
“I knew I was having a good game, but I didn’t know I was close to 400,” Williams III said. “I scored six touchdowns against Celina, so to get to 400 yards was cool.”
While it was the first time he eclipsed the 400-yard mark in a game, it was the second time this season he has ran for more than 300 yards in a game and fifth time he has gained more than 200 yards. He has also scored at least one touchdown in every game.
The statistics are impressive, but some critics have pointed to the fact that Bishop Lynch does not compete in the UIL, Texas’ main association of high schools. Instead, the Friars compete in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS).
However, Williams III said he doesn’t think that’s a fair argument. The Friars played a road game against a Chicago team, as well as Texas 4A-power Celina, 6A member Sachse and TAPPS-power Midland Christian.
“First of all, we’re in the state of Texas,” Williams said. “Just look at our schedule. Celina competes for a state championship every year. Midland Christian has won three straight championships. We’ve played top talent.”
Celina was No. 4 in Dave Campbell’s 4A rankings at the time of the game and Midland Christian cruised to a 56-7 win over Arkansas commit Deon Stewart and Highland (Ark.) to open the season.
Williams actually led Bishop Lynch to a 40-21 upset win over Celina with 310 yards and the aforementioned six touchdowns on 22 carries. He was named the Dallas Morning News Player of the Week for his effort.
If Williams keeps his pace of 243.4 yards and 3.3 touchdowns per game, he’ll finish the regular season with 2,678 yards and 36 touchdowns, both of which would break his school’s single-season record.
The records are currently held by Ryan Moats, who had 2,464 yards and 33 touchdowns in a season during his time at Bishop Lynch. Moats went on to earn WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors at Louisiana Tech in 2004 and was a third-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
“(Moats) was my running backs coach my freshman year,” Williams said. “We talk every month and I tell him I’m going to break his records.”
A key to breaking those records will be staying healthy, which he wasn’t able to do last year, as he missed three games with a high-ankle sprain. He said he has focused on preparing his body during the week for Friday nights.
“I’m learning to take care of my body,” Williams said. “I’ve dealt with injuries before. I take ice baths and hot baths, I stretch all the time, and I’ve changed my diet.”
With these mid-week precautions, Williams said he is able to recover quicker and not feel the affects of Friday night when he wakes up on Saturday.
That was not the case after the Sasche game, though. In the Friars’ 56-36 loss to the 6A school, he ran the ball 43 times for 228 yards and one touchdown.
“I was pretty sore that day,” Williams said. “But (after the 400-yard game), I wasn’t as sore. I felt fine.”
Williams, who flipped his commitment from Ole Miss to Arkansas in June, has also been able to keep up with the Razorbacks’ season. Their 14-13 loss to No. 7 Alabama stood out to him as a game they should have won, but he said that it proves Arkansas can compete with anyone.
Watching the games, he said he can’t help but imagine himself running behind Arkansas’ large offensive line.
“I’m extremely excited,” Williams said. “When I found out (Dan) Skipper was only a sophomore, that excited me a lot.”
In the Razorbacks’ loss to the Crimson Tide, star running back Alex Collins was suspended for the first quarter because he missed a couple of work outs. The suspension did not surprise Williams, who said he talks to head coach Bret Bielema a lot.
“He has a certain standard and he holds everyone accountable,” Williams said. “I got that from the start.
“That’s one of the things that sold me on Arkansas.”
Williams Continues to Pile Up Yards
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