Williams Watching UNC RBs

Heading into the 2014 season, former North Carolina pledge Antonio Williams was curious to see how the Tar Heels would utilize true freshman running back Elijah Hood. Williams received that opportunity in-person on Saturday during UNC’s victory over San Diego State.

Williams, a 5-foot-11, 208-pound, four-star running back from New London (N.C.) North Stanly compares favorably to Hood, a 6-foot, 220-pounder. Thus, how Hood is used within UNC’s one-back, no-huddle, spread offense provides Williams a window into how well he’d fit if he decided to re-commit to the Tar Heels.

“I liked it,” Williams said. “I think he was the main running back in most of the time – I think he had the most playing time. If I was looking right, I think he had the majority of the carries. I liked seeing that. He did have that touchdown run in the red zone. I feel like I can produce like that.”

Sophomore T.J. Logan actually led UNC’s running backs in carries, though only with two more than Hood. Hood and Logan, along with junior Romar Morris and sophomore Khris Francis, make up a full stable of quality rushers – another situation Williams was eager to review.

“I like how they try to even out the carries,” Williams said. “If you’re good enough, you’ll take advantage of your possessions of the ball. I have no problem with the rotation.”

Despite the positive evaluation, Williams isn’t prepared to alter his favorite schools list, which consists of Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, UNC, and Wisconsin.

“I’m trying to stay even throughout,” Williams said. “I’ll get more serious with the process later on. I’m going to try to take some visits to the other schools that I’ve listed. And then I’ll try to evaluate things after that.”

Williams’s goal is to attend a game at each one of his favorites by the end of this season. He doesn’t have anything scheduled yet, but hopes to visit Florida when it hosts LSU on Oct. 11. He’s also looking into an October date with Wisconsin. Additionally, there’s a strong chance Williams will return to UNC for a second game.

After falling into a deficit, UNC bounced back in the final quarter to beat San Diego State, 31-27.

“I didn’t think it would be all that close, but a win is a win,” Williams said. “I loved seeing the fight that they had. And I loved to see how they pushed the ball down the field with that offense. I also liked the turnovers that the defense caused. They did use their running backs in different ways.”

Saturday was UNC’s “Stripe Out” game, meaning the fans were asked to wear either Carolina Blue or black based on what section they sat in and thus give Kenan Stadium a Carolina Blue and black stripe look.

“I loved the atmosphere,” Williams said. “Honestly, that was the loudest game I’ve ever been to Carolina. I loved the way they improved the game time experience.”

Most importantly, Williams felt at home at UNC, despite no longer being committed to the school.

“I felt comfortable there like always,” Williams said.

Contributing to his comfort level were the two coach meetings Williams had on Saturday. He met with primary recruiter Chris Kapilovic and Larry Fedora in Fedora’s office, and also separately met with Larry Porter, UNC’s running backs coach.

“They just said the same thing that they said when I was committed there: they still want me,” Williams said. “They ask about family. Not really anything has changed with the relationship between me and the coaches.”

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