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Utah State University football: Aggies trying to get Kerwynn Williams the ball

Published August 25, 2011 2:50 pm

USU football • Coaches looking to make sure Williams gets touches.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Utah State coaches aren't sure exactly what role Kerwynn Williams will play this season. They only know that the junior will have a big role in the Aggie offense, and that he's their most versatile offensive weapon.

Certainly, the situation is crowded everywhere Williams plays. At running back, Robert Turbin and Michael Smith will command the ball. As a slot receiver, Stanley Morrison is back and healthy after a broken foot caused him to miss all of last season.

A year ago, Williams was a breakout offensive star. But that was a necessity because of injuries. Now, Williams is improved, but finding touches harder to come by. As a result, coaches have said they will need to find ways to get him involved.

"We do know that we have to get him the football," USU coach Gary Andersen said. "He's one of our best offensive players. We have to get him the ball in space, because when he gets there he's so dynamic."

Williams does a bit of everything. As a kick-return specialist, he's one of the most feared players in the Western Athletic Conference. On offense, he can run the ball, he can catch passes out of the backfield and he can line up at wide receiver. In Saturday's scrimmage, he came up with several long runs and showed strength in breaking tackles that he previously didn't have.

Last season, Williams set an NCAA record for kickoff return yardage, an accomplishment and a dubious distinction all rolled into one. As effective as Williams was at returning kicks, his yards also belied USU's inability to keep opponents off the scoreboard.

"I learned a lot watching Turbin and Smith in my freshman year when I wasn't in the offense a lot," Williams said. "This year, I want to make an impact any way I can, and I feel I can do that. I just want to play as well as I did a year ago, and I just want to win."

Williams adds depth and insurance, in case injury strikes again. Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin said the plan is to get him the ball 15-20 times a game. Doing that, Baldwin said, Williams can possibly have several momentum-turning plays.

"He's a weapon that you have to use," Baldwin said. "And he's one of our best players offensively. He's someone that is hard for defenses to prepare for."

tjones@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tonyaggieville —

Kerwynn Williams file

• Holds the FBS record for kickoff return yardage in a season.

• Plays several positions within the Utah State offense.

• Wears a high-top fade in honor of the hip-hop group Kid 'N Play.