South Carolina Football: Why David Williams Could Be Gamecocks' X-Factor in 2014

Charles BennettContributor IMarch 13, 2014

David Williams gives the Gamecocks a burner at tailback.
David Williams gives the Gamecocks a burner at tailback.Credit: 247Sports

COLUMBIA, S.C.—South Carolina is three-deep in experienced tailbacks, but there's little intrigue in watching how those three perform this spring.

Everyone already knows what juniors Mike Davis, Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson can do.

The guy to watch is redshirt freshman David Williams, a consensus 4-star recruit, including 247Sports, who has a quality the other three don't possess—blazing speed.

Make no mistake, Davis has proven to be deceptively fast, and Carson has a quick burst that makes him dangerous, but Williams is a blazer along the lines of wide receiver Damiere Byrd, the fastest player on the team.

And at 6'1'' 210 pounds, Williams is not exactly undersized.

As a senior at Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia, Williams rushed for 1,904 yards and 23 touchdowns and averaged 9.8 yards per carry. He also had offers from Ohio State, Miami, Auburn and Tennessee, among others.

Without question, Williams will have to be a very dynamic player to move past the players ahead of him on the depth chart.

Davis rushed for 1,165 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Wilds was injured most of last season but has proven in the past that he is a capable runner. Carson stepped in for Wilds last season as the backup to Davis and gave the Gamecocks a nice change of pace.

However, one thing all three have in common is a history of getting hurt. That plays to Williams' favor. It's the quickest way to move up the depth chart.

Wilds proved that as a freshman when he began the season as the fifth-team tailback and wound up starting after attrition vaulted him to the top of the depth chart.

Another factor in Williams' favor is that it's South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier's style to go easy on his established players in the spring. He did it last season with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and a few others.

He likes to give the younger players most of the work. If that philosophy continues, and there's no reason to believe it won't, expect Mike Davis to get a bit of a rest during the spring.

That means more work for Williams. By most accounts, he has the talent. It's up to him to step up and show it.