RB Rodrick Williams Named To Watch List

Minnesota senior running back Rodrick Williams is one of 39 student-athletes named to the third annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List, which was announced today at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce East Texas Kick-Off Luncheon.

Minnesota senior running back Rodrick Williams is one of 39 student-athletes named to the third annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List, which was announced today at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce East Texas Kick-Off Luncheon.

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division 1 football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.

In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year college. The Watch List announced today will be narrowed to up to 16 semi-finalists in November and then up to five finalists in December. They will be selected by broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans, and the previous winner. The finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards Banquet scheduled for January 13, 2016.

Williams, who is from Lewisville, Texas, and attended Lewisville High School with Minnesota teammates Scott Ekpe and Hendrick Ekpe, saw significant playing time as a true freshman during the 2012 season. That year, he played in the final eight games of the season, which included a start against Purdue, and rushed 57 times for 261 yards and two touchdowns.

His production was limited in 2013 and 2014 because of the emergence of fellow Texan David Cobb, who rushed for 2,828 yards and 20 touchdowns on 551 carries. Still, Williams carried the ball 60 times in 10 games in 2013 and ended the year with 332 yards and three touchdowns. Impressively, he did not have a negative rush on the season. Last season, as Cobb was setting program records, Williams rushed 23 times for 114 yards and three touchdowns. His final two carries of 2014 were both touchdowns, as he scored from 19 yards at Nebraska and from 20 yards against Missouri in the Citrus Bowl.

Cobb is now with the Tennessee Titans, so the 2015 season is a time for Williams to shine. The 5-11, 234-pound back has carried the ball 140 times for 707 yards, which translates to a 5.1 average (same career average-per-carry as Cobb). Williams also has eight career touchdowns. Williams, who has also played special teams, has caught seven career passes for 55 yards.

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award was announced in 2012 by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler. Earl Campbell graduated from John Tyler High School in Tyler before joining the Texas Longhorns under legendary Coach Darrell K. Royal. In his senior year, he led the nation with 1,744 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. He was drafted by the Houston Oilers where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1978 and went on to lead the NFL in rushing three times. Campbell was named the NFL MVP in 1979 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He now resides in Austin.

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