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Could There Be Three Headed Monster in Notre Dame’s Backfield?

Dexter Williams has had a great fall camp so far, can he make Notre Dame’s two headed monster a three headed one?

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Notre Dame
Dexter Williams could make Notre Dame’s rushing attack a three headed monster.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

There is much to be excited about Notre Dame’s rushing attack this season. For much of the offseason the two backs who have been receiving most of the press have been Josh Adams and Tarean Folston, and for good reason.

Aside from setting an ND freshman record for rushing yards last season with 835, Adams displayed big play ability and blazing speed. Although he sat out last season with an injury, Folston provides the Irish with a reliable and steady option in the backfield as he’s averaged 5.1 yards per carry for his career. The duo of Adams and Folston should form a formidable two headed monster in Notre Dame’s backfield.

Could that two headed monster grow another head and become a three headed monster? There is a good possibility of that happening as sophomore Dexter Williams is following up a strong spring with a fantastic fall.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Adams has been limited a bit in practice with a hamstring injury and Williams has been able to benefit from it. Williams has been getting a generous amount of reps with the first-team and has been making the most of it. Brian Kelly has been impressed with Williams’ explosiveness, strength and running style. He seems to have taken a step forward from his freshman season when he was used sparingly.

The emergence of Williams only expands what Notre Dame will be able to do on the offensive side of the ball. He adds another weapon to Kelly, Mike Denbrock and Mike Sanford’s deposal. They need all options of weapons they can get because outside of Adams, Folston and Torii Hunter Jr., they really don’t have any proven playmakers at the skill positions.

Kelly has already said that Williams could be a guy that sees a more prominent role this season, but how more prominent will that role be? Barring injury, expect Adams and Folston to receive a large bulk of the carries, but Williams could get about 7-10 carries a game, and if he performs well in those 7-10 carries, that’d be a big addition to the Irish offense.

It also should be noted that true freshman Tony Jones Jr. has really been opening some eyes so far this fall. On Saturday he carried most of the load as Adams was out, and Folston and Williams were limited. If he had came in last season with Williams and Adams, perhaps we would have seen Jones play over them. The only way Jones sees meaningful snaps this season is if a major injury occurs to one of the guys ahead of him.

The Irish have all the pieces to have one of the nation’s best rushing attacks. Yes, there should be a little bit of caution because we don’t know how the newcomers to the offensive line will perform. But there should be some sort of confidence considering how Notre Dame has been able to seemingly reload on the line in the past few seasons. They have the pieces and if Kelly remains committed to the run, there shouldn’t be a better trio in the country than Adams, Folston and Williams.