Williams' Patience Pays Dividends in Debut

NORMAN, Okla. — Freshman running back Brandon Williams isn't used to being second in line.

Or third.

Or fourth.

He's a guy who was a superstar for Brookshire Royal High School in the Houston area, rushing for more than 2,400 yards and 33 touchdowns his senior year, while also catching a pair of touchdowns to go along with 133 receiving yards.

But after arriving at OU as an early enrollee mid-semester last year, Williams has had to bide his time.

That's because walk-on running back Dominique Whaley and scholarship back Brennan Clay have got the bulk of the carries.

In fact, Whaley leads the team with his 379 yards and seven touchdowns, while Clay has 161 yards on the ground and a touchdown as well.

Backup running back Roy Finch, behind those two on the depth chart, has gained 35 yards on 10 attempts.

Williams had zero until the other night.

It's something that Williams himself admitted has been very taxing for him.

"I mean, honestly yeah, you know, I'm so used to playing," Williams said. "So, I was a little frustrated. But I had a good coach, Coach [Cale] Gundy, and he just told me to stay patient, stay patient and keep working and that's what I did."

And it certainly paid off.

Williams ran for 58 yards on 11 carries in OU's latest victory, a 62-6 decision over Ball State.

He also contributed on the special teams by setting up Ryan Broyles in the punt return game.

"He did well Saturday," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "He looked good. He looked fast, made some nice plays and I thought he looked good."

There was one instance, though, where he certainly looked like a freshman.

On the first play coming to him, quarterback Landry Jones rifled a pass towards him and it went right through the wickets.

"I don't think he saw that first laser coming at him," Stoops said. "It went right through, almost hit him in the head."

Stoops even joked that almost drilled him as well.

Williams just attributed it to nothing more than nerves.

"Yeah, I was real, real nervous, so I was ready to get out there and go," Williams said.

From that point on, however, he zoned in, showing his shiftiness, speed and natural ability in the backfield.

"After that play, I was like, ‘All right, I'm ready now,'" Williams said. "I settled down, got calm, and I was ready to go."

As for what's kept him off the field until now aside from the talented set backs in Whaley, Clay and Finch, Williams labeled just grasping the system.

"My problem was just to keep up with the fast tempo of Oklahoma offense and just picking up blitz protection," Williams said. "That's about it."

Now, he's acclimated himself enough to the system to get in there and get some touches, just in time for the Texas game.

But will he play?

Stoops responded with "possibly" when asked the question.

Williams said he won't be nervous if he gets the opportunity.

"Nah, I mean, I kind of got my feet wet," Williams said. "You know, so I kind of know what to expect now just to go into the game calm and just let things happen...it got my feet wet, got me a little experience and like even on top of games, I just got to be patient and let things come to me. That's all."

In large part, that's what the Sooners will have to do to take care of No. 10/11 Texas when they meet Saturday morning in Dallas.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories