Washington State and Mike Leach continue another early recruiting hot-streak with their second commit this week, running back James Williams from Burbank, CA.
Williams is a 3-star, 5’11”, 185 lbs prospect who’s running style and skill set on film immediately reminds me of a slightly less dynamic Tavon Austin while his movement with the ball in his hands reminds me a bit more of Jahvid Best. By no means do I necessarily think he’s on either of those levels at this point, but it was very fun to watch Williams in the open field because he’s such a fluid, explosive athlete in and out of his cuts. He also shows some good burst when he decides to split defenders, which is more of a rare attribute than you might think. He racked up 2,350 all-purpose yards in high school last season and if there’s something Leach covets in his RB’s, it’s the ability to gain those all-purpose yards.
It will be interesting to see if Williams becomes the only RB in the 2015 class or not. Remember dynamic and highly rated RB Austin Joyner has his heart set on playing in the Cougar secondary and Mike Breske is super excited to keep him there. Also think about what WSU is currently working with on the roster and what’s coming into the position.
Of course Marcus Mason and Theron West will graduate after the 2014 season and Teondray Caldwell is a current junior, but Gerard Wicks and Jamal Morrow will return as redshirt sophomores in 2015. Meanwhile Boise State sophomore transfer Aaron Baltazar will come back after a redshirt and WSU signee Squally Canada looks like a candidate to do the same, leaving the Cougs with two juniors, a redshirt sophomore and a redshirt freshman in the stable, along with Williams now as an incoming freshman. There are also a boatload of Cougs who have running back experience in high school should something happen to make them run thin.
For now, Williams becomes the fifth Coug-commit this Spring. Safety Kameron Powell committed just a couple days ago, QB Tyler Hilinski committed a couple weeks before that, Joyner we mentioned earlier was before that and highly touted DT Thomas Toki was first to commit in December.