The Oklahoma Sooners have a new star at running back. Coming into the season, the big question was whether or not Dominique Whaley could return to full strength after breaking his ankle in 2011. Now the question is whether he can keep his job after junior college transfer Damien Williams opened the season with 260 yards and five touchdowns in the first two games of the season.
Williams impressed fans with his late game touchdown run in Week 1, but improved in Week 2 when he ran for 156 yards and four touchdowns against Florida A&M. In his first outing of the season, Whaley only ran for 63 yards and one touchdown on the same number of carries that he received against FAMU. Williams not only looks faster than Whaley, he also stands one-inch taller and five-pounds heavier. He might actually be the new Dominique Whaley for the Oklahoma Sooners.
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“Damien’s a strong, powerful guy with excellent speed. So it’s exciting to see him play the way he is,” Head Coach Bob Stoops said after the game. “He looked great out there tonight. Again, I thought, obviously, the guys ahead of him; fullbacks, tight ends, and O-line did a nice job creating some good seams for him.”
In 2011, Whaley came to OU as a non-scholarship transfer student and won over the starting job. He then proved to be the best running back in Norman and led the team until he broke his ankle.
Coming into 2012, Roy Finch lost his backup job to Damien Williams, another transfer student. However, unlike Whaley, Williams came to OU with a lot of hype. He was the best junior college running back in 2011, and came into Norman with a scholarship and a lot of promise.
At Arizona Western, Williams was a first-team NJCAA All-American, rushing for 1,931 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore. He broke 100 yards in every game but one, and broke 200 yards twice. Coming to OU, the Sooners had a lot of trust in his abilities.
He is better than advertised.
Williams has a burst of speed that is reminiscent of legendary OU football player Quentin Griffin. He is strong and fast, and he is a humble player, something Sooners’ fans take great stock in. When talking about his big 89-yard touchdown run in the Florida A&M game, he pointed out his blockers.
“Anybody could have ran through that hole with the line blocking the way they were,” Williams said. “Trey Millard made a good block on the safety, so anybody could have done it. I had to turn my speed up to finish through, but it went as planned.”
Damien Williams is the next big thing in Norman, OK, and provides the Oklahoma Sooners with one of their most important weapons heading into Big 12 play.
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