South Carolina running back David Williams had the frank conversation last week, and it was one he initiated.
The junior has seen his stature as presumptive starter fall to not playing a down against Mississippi State. So he sent a text to Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp after practice last Monday asking when they could talk. The coach answered he could come up right away.
They talked for 30 minutes.
“I just wanted to clear up things and have a better understanding so we could get on the same page because the media was portraying it as we were having problems,” Williams said. “I just wanted to get on the same page as Coach Muschamp.
“It made me go out Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and give it my all. I probably had one of the best weeks of practices since I have been here.”
Williams admitted he and the staff were not on the same page and he didn’t understand some of what they were expecting. He responded with probably the best game of his career, rushing for 67 yards on nine carries in the win against East Carolina, his high since facing an FCS foe as a freshman.
He also got a boost from A.J. Turner, the man who passed him on the depth chart.
“ A.J. pushes me at practice,” Williams said. “I saw he goes so hard at practice and that’s an example for me. ... I think I’ve been a hard practice player but I’ve never been pushed to the max. After the practice, I’m dead now. I’m giving my all out there.”