BATON ROUGE, La. — You might not know it, but LSU running back Darrel Williams has a fan club.
And fortunately for Williams, the president of that fan club is in a pretty solid position to utilize the man better known to the general public as Derrius Guice’s backup.
“I can’t say enough about him,” LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada said of Williams. “I’m leading his fan club right now.”
Likely seeking to avoid the kind of freak preseason injury that derailed Leonard Fournette’s final season with the Tigers, LSU has minimized Guice’s usage in three intrasquad scrimmages leading up the season opener. That has equated to an increase in Williams’ touches.
Nowhere is that more noticeable than in the passing game, where he has totaled 4 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in LSU’s three scrimmages. Even with Guice expected to get most of the workload this season, Williams appears to be carving out a niche.
“We want to throw the ball to our backs out of the backfield,” said LSU coach Ed Orgeron. “We want to spread the ball around to our receivers, tight ends and running backs equally.
“We have some running backs that can catch the ball. As a defensive coach, I know that when you have some running backs out of the backfield that can catch the ball, that’s another dimension to defend.”
Granted, August stats should be taken with a grain of salt. With no public access to scrimmages, there’s no way to tell the situations in which plays are taking place. But it’s clear that Canada views Williams as another wrinkle to throw into his offense.
“He’s had a great camp,” Canada said. “He’s doing a lot of things for us, sees the holes, plays very hard, does anything you ask him to do. Darrel is one of my favorites.”
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