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The Cardinal Countdown: 25 Days Until Kickoff

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Western Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

#25 Dae Williams

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-2/229

Position: Running Back

Hometown: Sapulpa, OK

Twitter: @AllDae25

Thoughts: Dae is probably one of the more well known players in the running back room, and if you ask around he’s probably one of the more well known players on the whole team. Williams came into the program with some decent expectations, looking to fill the spot that Brandon Radcliff was leaving open after 2016. Williams was getting some solid reps and was primed to try and make an impact as a redshirt freshman and then unfortunately torn his ACL and was limited in his production. Props to the young man for battling back and making some impact plays against FSU just a few months later, helping the Cards grab a victory at Doak, and starting to build up his reputation.

In 2018 Dae was setting himself up to be the top dog out of that group, coming into the season as the returning leader in attempts, yardage, and TDs. I called for Dae to have a big year going for over 800 yards and cracking the 12 TD barrier. Unfortunately, once again the injury bug ended his season all too soon. After only four games Dae was sidelined with a wrist injury that didn’t allow him to see the field the rest of the year. On top of the injury, the other issue for me was that outside of the WKU game where he played great, Williams wasn’t exactly killing it. A tough Alabama defense and a monsoon against ISU could be partially to blame, but those two contests and the game against Virginia Dae only produced 13 yards on 13 attempts. That ain’t gonna cut it. Maybe he was still getting back to 100% health? Maybe he was having difficulty behind a struggling O-line? Maybe he was struggling to get in a rhythm with little emphasis on the run game? Whatever the issue was it allowed Hassan Hall and Javian Hawkins to step up into a much larger role to finish out the year and heading into 2019.

As Fall camp started up earlier this week Dae was listed as the backup to Hall/Hawkins. I certainly think Williams brings a skill set to that group that is unique to Hall and Hawkins, sitting at least a couple inches higher and 30lb+ heavier than both. I won’t go so far as to say he pulled a ‘Sampson’ cutting his dread locks off after 2017 but we need to see that Dae again this year, the one who was averaging over 6 yards per carry and was a decent threat in the passing game as well. I think the starting job is Halls’ to lose but by this point we all know the importance on the backfield in the Satterfield gameplan. I think Coach will look at two or maybe three guys each and every week to contribute to the rushing attack. Last year for example Darrynton Evans was the premier back, going for over 1,100 yards, but two other backs (Williams/Moore) went for over 500 and 400 yards respectively. For comparison, Louisville’s leading back last year (Hall) only went for 303 yards on the season. This group will be asked to do a lot and the leadership and experience of Dae will pay off the next two seasons without question. I think Dae goes for 300-400 yards and becomes a goal line threat with his size and shiftiness.

Sweet Tweet:

I didn’t say it, he said it. They guy practicing every day. The guy who sees the talent around him. The guy who sees what the new staff is doing. The guy who’s been in the ACC for three years. He said it. No rebuild. 25 days...let’s ride.