True freshman could get start in backfield

With running back Zach Line (foot) questionable for Saturday's game against No. 11 Houston, freshman Jared Williams, who only has about 10 carries this season, could get the starting nod. June Jones says he's excited and anxious to see what Williams, who's been waiting for this opportunity all year, can do.

If Zach Line can't play Saturday against Houston, true freshman Jared Williams will get the job.

Line, who's been nursing a foot injury all week and myriad of other bang-ups pretty much this entire season, is a game day call. He's one of if not the toughest player on this team and is very capable of playing – and rushing for over 100 yards – while hurt.

Williams is an enthusiastic player ready for his chance.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound freshman hails from Bradenton, Florida and almost didn't play for SMU. He didn't sign with the Mustangs until June – about four months after signing day.

Williams was about to commit to Wheaton (Ill.) College, a Division III school, but after he came home from his visit, June Jones called.

"He called and said he really wanted me," Williams said of his phone call with the SMU head coach. "I had a family friend in Dallas who sent my highlight tape around to Texas schools and coach Jones looked at it and liked it.

"It's crazy, but I'm blessed to be in this situation."

Williams' work ethic this season has him listed as the No. 2 running back on SMU's depth chart behind Line.

"I'm ready for this opportunity," Williams said. "I've been preparing every day to be ready for this chance and this environment."

Jones said that they'll likely use a mixture of all three running backs on Saturday – Williams, Rishad Wimbley and Line if he can go – and that he's excited to see what Williams, who's only had about 10 carries this season, can do.

"Jared will play the majority of the time," Jones said. "I'm anxious to see him run because he's a pretty good little runner. I'm sure he'll make some freshman mistakes, but you live with it and I'm sure he'll be better next week."

Williams says he feels comfortable in this system and protected by his "big boy" offensive linemen. He also said that he doesn't feel the pressure to play like Line.

"We're different people," he said. "I'm just going to do my job, that's the only thing I can do."


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