Plaquemine RB one of state's best

The battle for the top running back prospect in Louisiana for 2004 is could be a close one between Redemptorist-Baton Rouge bruiser Jay Lucas and Plaquemine speed merchant Ja'Kouri Williams.<br><br>But according to feedback from college coaches, Williams might also have a future at another position on the next level.

Williams was listed at 5-foot-11, 183 pounds, late in his junior year and runs a legitimate 4.4-forty, with a top overall time of 4.31. The first team all-state selection rushed for more than 1,400 yards and 28 scores in the 2002 campaign despite sharing the load in the backfield.

"We had another running back in the same backfield that gained over 1,300 yards and our quarterback ran a lot, too," said Plaquemine head coach Don Jones. "If we would have featured him more then (Williams) would have easily rushed for over 2,000 yards."

That has to be a scary thought for Plaquemine's opponents in the 2003 season, and Williams could reach those numbers barring an unforeseen injury or problem.

Williams has several physical attributes that enhance his potential on the gridiron, but the biggest thing he could have going for him is he is only 16 years old and plenty of room to fill out on his frame.

"He has tremendous speed and the ability to run inside," Jones told Tiger Rag. "He can be going full blast and then all of a sudden he slides to the other side of the field. The thing about Ja'Kouri is he has the same speed when he puts that uniform on. He doesn't lose anything. He is going to get up to 200 pounds. And when he does, watch out."

Jones said Williams really likes Miami, Florida State, LSU and Michigan, but the Wolverines are the only team that has extended a formal scholarship offer. LSU coaches told Williams they really like him but they want to see him perform at a summer camp at another position.

"He went over to LSU's Junior Day and according to him and his parents, the coaches told him he needed to go to their camp over the summer so they could see if he could catch the ball," Jones said. "They told him they like him as a receiver but he wants to play tailback."

Jones has coached some great running backs over the years, and he thinks Williams can be as good as any of the other ones, including a pair of NFL greats.

"I coached Anthony Thomas (Chicago Bears) at Winnfield, who was the NFL Rookie of the Year, and I coached Brian Mitchell in high school and at USL," said Jones. "I'm telling you that this kid is in the same league with them. He scored 46 touchdowns in two years. He is a specimen. Believe me when I say this kid is going to be able to play tailback wherever he wants to go."

Sonny's View: If Williams can put on some weight then Jones' prediction could very well come true. He is also an excellent return specialist candidate for the next level because of his open field moves and his ability to make plays.

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