How Miyan Williams can take control of Buckeyes running back job

On3 imageby:Spencer Holbrook06/08/21


COLUMBUS — Miyan Williams is willing to put in extra work to become a star tailback at Ohio State.

Need some proof? Look no further than the tail-end of the Buckeyes first recruiting camp to open June. As recruits, parents, coaches and media filed out of the June 2 recruiting camp inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, a who’s who of Buckeyes offensive skill talent emerged from the locker room.

Two of the three quarterbacks showed up to throw to star receivers — and Miyan Williams, the only running back at the impromptu throwing session.

That’s certainly just a small sample size of a massive offseason for the Buckeyes running back room loaded with talent. But it provided a sliver of insight, a peek behind the curtain of Williams’ work ethic and willingness to show up to get better at every turn this offseason. He wants to be the starting running back for the season opener.

“Me, I feel like everybody should just come out to practice every day to just get better than they did the day before,” Williams said during spring practice. “I just keep getting better every day.”

Williams was not a highly-regarded recruit, especially by the standard of the rest of the running back room. The former three-star prospect flipped to Ohio State from Iowa State after the Buckeyes missed out on two five-star backs in the 2020 class. But that didn’t stop Williams from making his presence known late last season — in the Buckeyes biggest games of the year.

Miyan Williams-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State freshman running back Miyan Williams made the most of his carries in the Sugar Bowl win over Clemson. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

He had impressive carries in limited action in wins over Michigan State, Northwestern and Clemson. He stayed ready all year, and when the Buckeyes needed a spark, he provided one.

“I just really stay prepared,” Williams said. “I practiced for it, so I’m already ready for it when my name is called in the game. Coach [Tony] Alford, he told me to always be ready because you never know your name could get called. Just getting in the playoff game was exciting. Got the blood rushing, was just out there have fun with my teammates.”

Those experiences helped him, sure. But limited carries in spotty action was never the goal for Williams. It won’t change. The starting running back role is up for grabs this fall.

Williams is excited for that chance to become the bell-cow back. So is everyone else.

“You know and I’m really anxious to watch Miyan Williams,” Alford said. “Here’s a guy that, he had a smattering of carries a very small sample size, but what he did have, he was very successful in those in those opportunities. So he’s continuing to grow into the program and the offense.

“Guys are going to get their opportunities. They are going to get their opportunities and are going to get the reps of spring. And you know, I can say in any and all positions here that you you get what you earn. Those those opportunities are deserved and earned.”

Can Williams earn those opportunities at Ohio State? Showing up to those impromptu throwing sessions and working during the offseason will help. He showed what he can do in small spurts last season. He’s working to earn more carries starting in September.

And he’s willing to put in the work to become the starter.

“Just to be a better player than I was last year,” Williams said of his goals for the offseason. “That’s really it.”

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