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Arkansas Countdown: 32 Days - Jonathan Williams

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The Next Man Up

Wesley Hitt

Over the years, Hog fans have been treated to some fine ball carrying. Forgive me, as I am a younger fan, my earliest memories take me back to Madre Hill (barely), Fred Tally,and Cedric Cobbs. The memories get better and flashier with time, as recollections of the great Darren McFadden and his counterparts in Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis come to mind. Michael Smith didn't miss too much of a beat and then, one of my favorites, Dennis Johnson emerged along with Knile Davis.

Times and coaches change, but there always seems to be a Hog on the field with the ability to run just as wild as the one emblazed on his helmet.

Maybe the last two seasons have been a little different, with injuries to Johnson and Davis each effecting the run along with a stronger passing game. But, with 32 days to go before kickoff, we'll take a look at who could be Arkansas' next great back.

Jonathan Williams first caught my eye at last year's first fall scrimmage where he rushed for 37 yards and two scores. As we now know, it was a small sign of things to come.

The 6-0, 220 lb back from Allen, Texas was electric at times last season. Particularly in the 49-7 beating of Kentucky, where he did his best Ronnie Wingo impression early on by reeling in a 74 yard touchdown catch on a wheel route, and again later for 77 yards.

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As we know, he didn't receive the bulk of the carries last season, he rushed for 231 yards on 45 attempts while sitting behind Johnson and Davis. Yet, the overall consensus among us Hog fans is that he is more than ready this year to carry the load. Especially with Bret Bielema at the helm, the face mask crushing monster Kiero Small to run behind, and possibly a little help from a fella called "Budda".

As a freshman, Williams showed flashes of what may come to a backfield near you. As the new leader and stud of the stable, he could make some noise next season, and possibly end up in the same conversation as some other great Hog running backs before he's done on the Hill.