Can RB Damien Williams carve out a role?

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma has a deep group of running backs with the return of a healthy Dominique Whaley, Brennan Clay entering the season healthy and Roy Finch bringing his exceptional open field running to the team.

But junior college transfer Damien Williams could carve a role in OU’s offense. The Sooners coaches have talked like they expect to play Williams despite having three veteran running backs on the roster.

Center Gabe Ikard’s praise of the newcomer could give Sooners fans a glimpse at the reasons Williams could earn carries this fall.

“He’s a workhorse-type guy,” Ikard said. “He really plays with his pads well, a big, strong powerful guy. He has a speed to run outside the tackles as well. He’s one of those backs you can rely on getting the extra yards in between the tackles. He makes one cut then he’s up the field hard.”

Even though the Belldozer, OU’s short-yardage package, is here to stay, Williams’ strengths sound like the ideal traits of a quality short yardage runner. None of OU’s returning running backs seemed to excel around the goal line, hence the development of the Belldozer, and yet that doesn’t mean a quality short yardage runner wouldn’t be useful for the Sooners.