By LARRY VAUGHT
For two years, Stanley “Boom” Williams has been a big playmaker for the Kentucky offense. He’s also been prone to off-field issues.
He was suspended a game his freshman season for his involvement in a pellet gun incident on campus and last season briefly left the team for “personal issues” after being benched the second half of a game.
He needed offseason elbow surgery and is not having any contact during spring practice while new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran puts in his offense. However, Williams is doing his best to keep up.
“Boom’s done a good job. He’s done what he could,” coach Mark Stoops said Thursday. “He wanted to be out there. He was out there quite a bit with the red (jersey) on (meaning no contact). And he’s doing his rehab and doing better academically. So he’s got to control the things he can control right now.”
Gran said strength coach Corey Edmond has done plenty of workouts to keep Williams in shape during his rehab.
“He had to be careful because if he fell down, you wanted to really protect that elbow. He had a nice brace on it, but I think he’s done a nice job. This summer will be huge for him. He was in the meetings, studying. I think he knows it; he’s not going to obviously know it as well as the other guys because they’ve got game time and scrimmage time experience,” Gran said.
“He’ll know it enough to where we get through the summer time, he should be ready to go that first day. Mentally is where I’m more concerned about. Got to make sure he does a good job this summer.”
Gran says it is hard to change anyone. He’s more interested in consistency.
“There’s no cutting corners. I’ve encouraged him that if you’re going to be the starter, you’ve got to do things right on and off the field, in the classroom and those are the things we’re stressing here. I think he’s bought into that. So I’m excited about it; I really am. I like his personality. I like what he brings to the table. We’ve just got to now get to the football side when he gets back well,” Gran said.
Williams knows that Gran has put players into the NFL. That’s his dream, too.
“He’s got a lot of good guys he’s coached that he’s put in the league, so he knows a lot. Just by listening to him, being able to take those things and put them on the field, I think I’ll be more of an all-around back,” Williams said. “Coach Gran is very challenging and he expects a lot out of us. When you have a good background like he has, those are the expectations.”