Ty’Son Williams spent his first real season at South Carolina as a curious case.
His first game: no carries.
His second: 14 carries and a career high in yards.
His third: zero.
His fourth: again, the team’s top rusher.
The 6-foot, 217-pound North Carolina transfer came to Columbia with the promise of being a potential starter. He averaged seven carries a game in his final five games of 2017, missed one, and only got that much work because starter A.J. Turner was knocked out of the Clemson game.
His coaches believe he could be USC’s top back, but there’s something holding him back.
“It all goes back to being ready and being prepared and having confidence,” Gamecocks running backs coach Bobby Bentley said. “He’s probably, when you look at him on the field, the most talented on the practice field. That’s got to carry over into the game. That’s when you see a lot of inconsistencies, when you see gameday.”
Williams was rated by some a four-star recruit coming out of Sumter. The Steve Spurrier staff recruited him, and he ended up in Chapel Hill before transferring after one season.
He came to USC as a walk-on before going on scholarship, and has shown flashes of potential with a lot of speed and some power. He notably broke a big run to salt away the Missouri game and had a key score against Louisiana Tech.
But that didn’t come through as much again better teams, and that’s a little flummoxing to his coaches.
“On the practice field, I think you see a lot of the, probably the most dominant guy,” Bentley said. “That’s got to carry over. And like I told him, I can’t wait til the Coastal Carolina game to see how he performs.
“We’ve got to see it under the lights.”
USC has everyone back: former starter and freshman sensation Rico Dowdle, steady A.J. Turner and powerful backup Mon Denson. After talk of a rotation, USC seemed to favor a lead back and a No. 3 last year, and Bentley said as much early in spring practice.
The opportunity is there for Williams, and his coach hopes he’s over the inconsistency that’s held him back.
“We’re working on that,” Bentley said. “And I think he’s over it. And I think he’s ready to take the next step.”