Ty’Son Williams has a little more than a month to wait.
The last time he stepped on a field and played competitive college football was early November 2015. He was a North Carolina Tar Heel then, facing Duke.
He’ll be in a South Carolina uniform when he runs onto the field in early September against N.C. State. For nearly two years, he had to wait.
And don’t think he’s not looking forward as the time draws close.
“It feels good,” Williams said. “Feels good. I don’t think anything can replace that feeling you get suiting up Saturday, Saturday evening or Saturday night. It just feels good.”
Williams went to UNC from Crestwood High School in Sumter, in part because the Gamecocks staff filled its class at his position. He played his first five games in Chapel Hill, then saw the field in one contest the rest of the way.
He transferred after that 2015 season, came to the Gamecocks as a walk-on with school paid for by the G.I. Bill and had to wait out his transfer year.
That meant standing on the sideline last year in a jersey and shorts, listening to the strength coaches and soaking in the atmosphere.
“It’s a lot different being where I was,” Williams said. “Just seemed like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to get out there myself and play in front of it.”
There can be a few perks for players who are redshirting. They can go home and visit family. They can take in a whole Saturday of college football when the team is on the road.
Williams’ view: If you’re watching your team play, might as well be there.
“That was fun, but at the same time, everybody wants to be out there on the field,” Williams said. “So I’ve just been waiting a long time for this moment right here, being able to get back and suit up on Saturdays.”
He’ll get to do that, and the next month will determine how long he might have to wait once the ball is kicked off.
USC returns two players who started last year in Rico Dowdle and A.J. Turner. Dowdle took over the job down the stretch, but Williams has impressed the staff enough to project as a possible co-starter in outsiders’ eyes.
USC coach Will Muschamp was asked how the staff determines which tailback is out there for snap No. 1. Whoever practices best, he said.
What would it mean for Williams to earn that right after waiting so long?
“It would mean a lot,” Williams said, “especially with sitting out for a year. All we can do is control what we can control right now. That’s going out and having a great training camp. Practicing hard.
“That’s what we’re going to do.”