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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #23 Kyren Williams, Running Back

After multiple classes without highly-ranked running back recruits, Williams brings a 4-star profile to help shore up the depth chart

Photo Credit: Twitter (@Kyrensiren)

And so begins another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.

#23 Kyren Williams, RB

Kyren Williams will begin his promising Notre Dame football career at an interesting time. After the Irish have had reliable, dynamic playmakers at the position for the last few years (CJ Prosise, Josh Adams, Dexter Williams), the 2019 running back depth chart is full of unproven and not-yet-consistently-reliable guys.

Jafar Armstrong and Tony Jones Jr. both had their moments in 2018, but neither could stay healthy for the duration of the season, nor have either of them proven they can be the #1, feature back in Chip Long’s offense. With that said, they’re certainly the top two backs the Irish have, meaning true frosh Williams will start out fairly low on the totem pole.

With that said, the other competition at the position, such as C’bo Flemister and Jahmir Smith, are anything but cemented as 3rd/4th string, and so the 4-star RB Williams, hailing from St. Louis, certainly has a chance to come in and leap a guy or two and maybe even earn some true freshman PT, especially considering he enrolled early.

Williams arrives having been ranked the #24 RB in the country by 247 Sports, boasting other offers from the likes of the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Stanford Cardinal, Wisconsin Badgers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Missouri Tigers, Northwestern Wildcats, and others. At 5’10” and 200 pounds, he’s a strong back with decent speed — but just not game-breaker speed like the last Williams to carry the ball for the Irish.

Still, Kyren Williams looks like a talented RB with the right physicality and body type to at least provide good depth, if not maybe garner a few carries here and there. His future is certainly bright.

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“Runaway” - Bon Jovi

Kyren Willims is a running back, and I expect him to run away from various defenders on his way to nice chunk gains throughout his career. I don’t need to keep typing anymore, that covers it.

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French Bulldog

Kyren Williams is like a little bowling ball of a running back right now, but with a little more agility than a typical bulldog. So, I think the French Bulldog is perfect for him, and I expect Williams to explode in popularity amongst the fan base over the next 4 years, similar to how big French Bulldogs became the “it” dog to have all across America.

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2019 Outlook

Armstrong and Jones Jr. will get the bulk of the carries in 2019, and Jahmir Smith has looked good enough to be the likely 3rd string guy. With that said, injuries happen every single year with Notre Dame running backs, and Williams’ talent and size are enough to potentially gain him some PT if depth gets thin or if Smith isn’t able to handle the 3rd string role.

I don’t think Williams will redshirt, because it seems likely he will be called upon either due to injury or due to being a pretty ready-to-play back right out of high school. But I also don’t think he dazzles this year, and instead simply develops himself a bit and puts himself into position to play a great deal once Tony Jones Jr. graduates and Jahmir Smith’s limitations in comparison become too much for Williams not to hop him.

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