Considered among the elite running backs in college football, Ryan Williams has only one person that should receive gratitude for his success, Darren Evans.
As a freshman, the 19-year-old Williams created bruises and scars for his opponents, gaining 1,655 yards on the turf. However, the upcoming sophomore wouldn't have even cracked 1,000 yards if it weren't for a season-ending blow to Evans.
In 2009, the Orange Bowl MVP suffered a torn left ACL, causing any hopes of a successful sophomore campaign to plummet.
"Obviously we are all saddened by the results of [Evans'] MRI," said head athletic trainer Mike Goforth. "But we all know what type of young man Darren is and we have no doubt that he will come back stronger than ever."
Luckily, Darren Evans was a only a sophomore when the unfortunate injury occurred, giving him a couple years to regain draft stock.
With individual efforts aside, the big picture that has all Virginia Tech fans anxious for is the imminent two-headed monster in Williams and Evans.
Two years ago, Darren Evans made his mark, breaking school records as a freshman on his way to 1,265 yards rushing and 11 runs that broke the plane.
The following year, Williams nearly doubled Evans' regular season total of 11 touchdowns with 21 of his own.
Needless to say, the Indiana native will no longer be Williams' successor, only adding depth to Virginia Tech's rushing attack.
Not only does this help Tech's rushing, it skyrockets their offense's value entirely.
Tyrod Taylor is a known dual-threat athlete, as a highly touted quarterback in 2010. With Taylor's passing attempts increasing and more pocket passes being shot out of his cannon, Evan's presence adds diversity to an already stacked offense.
Evans' playing style brings finesse to the table, while Williams adds brutal running. Both backs have the ability to snag the football out of the backfield, catching 33 combined in each of their individual seasons.
Not only is this a change of pace for opposing defenses, but can add a new dimension for Tyrod Taylor to improve with.
With the professional level approaching for the thrice of Taylor, Williams, and Evans, they can only improve each others' game if they work together.
Having the experience and playing time together should mesh into an astounding combination of play-makers.
More so, the NFL is evolving into a two-back system, which will only become more popular if an 18-game schedule is passed. The ability to work together and split carries happily will only keep both tailbacks' legs fresh, adding to their intangibles.
College football has been acknowledged as a single back system for its entirety. Is the dual-back set of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans an evolution for Virginia Tech and their opponents?
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