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Nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back Boom Williams commits to Kentucky


If there is one thing that should be obvious to elite offensive players about Kentucky football, it’s that the Wildcats will have plenty of chances for playmakers to shine.

“Over the last three years Texas Tech, we were number one team in plays per game,” said new UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown. “We will play faster (than UK did last year). We are a pass-oriented team, but we will run.”

One of those running starting in 2014 could be Georgia’s Stanley “Boom” Williams. He verbally committed to the Wildcats — he’s UK’s 16 commitment in the 2014 recruiting class — during a visit to Lexington Thursday. Rivals.com ranks him not only as a four-star player, but also as the nation’s all-purpose back and 96th overall player in the country.

That makes him Kentucky’s highest ranked recruit in seven years and the first top 100 player to pick UK since Micah Johnson in 2006. His decision also boosted UK to No. 3 in Rival.com’s team rankings for the 2014 class.

Williams, nicknamed “Boom,” rushed for 1,958 yards and 24 touchdowns last year at George Walton Academy. His offers included Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, Georgia Tech, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Williams had committed to Georgia after his freshman season because he said he grew up a Georgia fan and couldn’t wait to commit when he got an offer. However, he recently de-committed from Georgia.

“I dreamed of playing for Georgia and after I ran a 4.28 (second 40-yard dash) my freshman year, me and my family thought committing was the right thing to do. But now I am opening everything back up. We all thought that would be best and not just have my eyes set on one decision and not see what my other options are,” Williams said in a recent interview with The Advocate-Messenger.

Williams, who said he recently ran a 4.31 40, said he felt he would be a “good fit” in Brown’s offense before his visit.

“I think I am more of a spread running back. I can play in any offense. I don’t prefer any particular offense as long as I am helping my team win,” Williams said. “But I do see myself as a good fit in his offense as far as helping the team and making plays, catching the ball, running the ball and blocking. Those are all things I mainly do already.”

He spent spring practice working as a slot receiver working on routes and catching the ball.

Brown wants an all-around back in his fast-paced offense.

During a talk in Nicholasville Thursday night as part of a fundraiser for the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame, Brown praised UK senior back Raymond Sanders for his expected role in next season’s offense. “Raymond was our best back in the spring. He is an all-purpose guy. He can make people miss, catch balls. He can do a lot of things in our offense,” Brown said.

When Brown was at Texas Tech, Williams was being recruited by running backs coach Chad Scott, who came to UK with Brown.

“Recruiting is absolutely the No. 1 thing we have to do,” Brown said Thursday night. “I feel like we have really good coaches but I do not care what sport you are playing, you are only as good as your players. If you don’t recruit at a superior level, you won’t win.”

Kentucky is doing that under first-year coach Mark Stoops. Kentucky now has commitments from five players ranked among the nation’s top 200 players by Rivals.com in its 2014 recruiting class after getting two in the top 225 last year.

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  1. Ira

    UK is having an amazing run with recruits. But then we have a great staff that believes in itself.

    Congrats young man on becoming the newest addition to the BBN! Good luck on your SR season.

  2. David

    This is one of my favorite pickup’s for our offense. I have to take my hat off to the players that have been recruiting like crazy to make this team even better with each and every new verbal commitment.

    I am still looking for some 4* offensive lineman to commit, I know there is one from Ohio that had not made his college choice yet. Come on Coach Marrow go close the deal on that kid. I would like to see 4* Braxton Berrios pull that trigger and say he is joining the BBN. I feel like I am getting greedy now but its going to take that attitude to win an SEC Championship. I will be a Big Blue Fan till the day I die

    1. larryvaught

      Looking like a wide receiver could come on board soon from what I am hearing

  3. King Ghidora

    Wow I expected Stoops to do well but he’s threatening to make UK a top 10 team the way he’s going. An all purpose back is perfect for Brown’s offense. It shouldn’t be boring in Commonwealth no matter what.

  4. Lary Pup

    Wow!!! Jo Jo and Boom in the backfield for the Wildcats. Can it get any better? I hope Sanders has a big year. He has paid his dues, worked hard, and should be a leader in this offense.

  5. Shinny

    Larry this is going to be so much fun!! These young guys see whats in store and don’t pay any attention to where Kentucky has been in the past. They truly “get it”! Thanks to Coach Stoops and his staff for helping these young men see the big picture! “Boom” is special to me because he decommited from the “Dawg” to become a “KAT”!!!

  6. LindaS

    Whenever this young man steps on the field or does something great the crowd should go Boom Boom Boom Boom, just like the John Lee Hooker song! Boom Boom Boom Boom!

  7. Larry T Clemons

    New Coaches, New Offensive scheme, New Defensive Mind Set, Brings in a top group of Freshman for The Wildcats & BBN….Where have I seen this Story, (pattern) before ??? When you compete in the SEC Football Arena, You Compete Nationally for a High Profile Bowl Game or The National Championship. Let’s not get to far ahead of ourselves, But , I truly see a pattern of Success, the way I saw it with Coach Cal & Kentucky Basketball. I Believe something Big is Happening in Lexington and these Recruits feel it also…Build It, Own It, Win It and The Legacy ” Will Be Yours “…. I’m a Stoopified, Brownoser, ” I Love These Coaches and I Admit It ! Wow, KENTUCKY FOOTBALL, feeling a little bit of The Kentucky Effect, just maybe.

  8. Love SEC F-Ball

    Welcome to U.K. Stanley. We are glad that you will be a Wildcat.
    Good luck this summer & stay healthy. Everyone in Big Blue Nation supports you.
    You will be playing for a great coaching staff.

  9. Kokamo Joe

    I have waited for many years for the type of commitment that UK seems to be now making for football. We are sure to cash in on a good percentage of these hot commitments. What I personally want to avoid is expecting the new coaching staff to immediately turn the program around. I am looking to year three of the Stoops reign. What I am look for this coming year is a commitment from the team and demonstrated effort and actual improvement. That would satisfy me.

    I also know that some of the youngsters who have committed to the program will decommit. But for every one of those, we will probably pick up a player who has decommited elsewhere. The future looks bright.

    In the past I have read on this site that football fans would be pleased with a mid level SEC team with an outside chance of a real competitor ever 10 to 15 years. I believe that Stoops has changed that. So what should be goal of Kentucky football. Surely not the bottom third of SEC football which is a spot that we had suffered through since Bear Bryant. Should we be satisfied for the middle third, or should UK shoot the works and aim and EXPECT to perform in the top third?

  10. grant

    I mean when I say this , I am happy for all you die hard UK football fans that have endured alot through the years. Hard telling where UK football could end up in a few years . This has been a real hit the ground running coaching staff so far with the recruiting. Larry , maybe not this year , but I suspect you will be writing some articles in the near future about UK Football and winning.. That will be a good thing.

  11. King Ghidora

    UK hasn’t always had bad football teams. Just almost always. Yes it’s true that no one has equaled what Bryant did at UK but there were some very good years during that span. In 1977 the football team was 10-1. They shared the SEC title that year. It’s true that years like that have been too few and far between but there were other decent years.

    I’m certainly glad that the Cats are making an effort to be a big time program again. But it’s hard for me to hear people talk about how UK hasn’t gotten it done since Bear. Curci was the coach when I went to UK (yes I’m old now) so I do remember what it was like to win.

  12. Larry Pup

    King, as far as I’m concerned, Curci was a great coach. It was sad to see how his career ended. I will never forget Art Still, Derrick Ramsey and company. They were a kick ass team. No doubt. I remember the Penn State win, and how they clobbered UGA between the hedges. Great memories.

  13. King Ghidora

    Still was drafted #2 overall after being AA at UK. He had a long and solid career in the NFL too. He was some kind of player.

  14. David

    Larry I had some good friends on that 77 team, Chuck Servino who I played ball with at Trinity High, Bud Diehl who I coached football with at Male High back in the 80’s. Team was loaded with great players, Sonny Collins being one of them. Mike Siganos was a head hunter of a DB that I got to play a little ball with after his Kentucky Years.

    Great Team 1977, I think these guys being brought in now will compete like those boys did back then, if given the time and they all stick together.

  15. Larry T Clemons

    Good Call Linda S…..Boom, Boom, Boom,Boom….

  16. King Ghidora

    Collins was a name that was called often in those days. I always felt like he was the one that set the tone for the players that came in right behind him. He still holds a lot of UK records AFAIK. He was a truly great running back. Without his success at UK I don’t think Ramsey or Still would have gone to school there. Maybe I’m wrong but Sonny was the first of the truly great Cats from that era at least that I remember. His name was a household word in the state in those days. He turned down a lot of big time programs to play for the Cats and I think a lot of people followed him. Alabama, Ohio St., USC and others all wanted Sonny but he picked UP as soon as they asked.

    Of course the one constant was the harassment of media outlets like SI which accused Collins of point shaving in a game against Auburn. The more things change the more they stay the same. Yes later on recruiting violations were found but the thing is the NCAA fails to find violations no matter how obvious they are in some places. UK wasn’t supposed to be a football power and the NCAA and the media were going to make sure they didn’t become one. Look for the same thing to happen again if Stoops’ team starts to win big.

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