The Herald Bulletin

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Sports

August 15, 2013

Rookie Williams comfortable in any role

ANDERSON, Ind. — The specter weaving through defenders in the middle of the field suddenly burst free near the sideline. And then the race was over.

After corralling a short pass from Andrew Luck, rookie running back Kerwynn Williams made at least two linebackers miss — no easy task in a drill that essentially amounts to two-hand touch — and headed for paydirt.

It was his first two-minute drill working with the Indianapolis Colts' first-team offense, and the seventh-round pick showcased nearly everything general manager Ryan Grigson saw in him during the draft process. Guts, hands, elusiveness and — my, oh, my — that breakaway speed.

Williams finally slowed to a stop some 55 yards downfield in the end zone. But the coaches had other ideas.

Instead of allowing the touchdown, they called a phantom tackle back near midfield and allowed the drive to continue. The running back never said a word, just jogged back to the huddle and lined up for the next snap.

"It definitely felt good to be out there with the ones and stuff like that," Williams recalled after Thursday's morning walkthrough. "Get that experience with them running the two-minute drill and just seeing how things work with them."

Williams had to wait in line before becoming the featured back at Utah State. But once he got the job in 2012, he made the most of it — rushing for 1,512 yards and 15 touchdowns.

His position coach then — Mike Sanford, who is now the head coach at Indiana State — recently told the Terre Haute Tribune Star the diminutive running back is "a home run hitter."

Williams originally made his name with the Aggies hitting home runs on special teams, averaging 27.2 yards per kickoff return and scoring one touchdown in 2010.

In his NFL preseason debut Sunday, Williams averaged 17.8 yards on five kickoff returns and was the Colts' leading rusher with 21 yards on four carries.

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