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By LARRY VAUGHT
He’s really not sure exactly where the nickname “Boom” came from other than one of his high school coaches started calling him that. However, recent Kentucky commit Stanley Williams has embraced the nickname and all it stands for.
“Every time I score, everybody just goes, ‘Boom’ when I score. The whole stadium does it,” said the Georgia standout who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose running back. “I have fun with it. I love the nickname. Everybody calls me that now and I am fine with Boom or Stanley. I’m looking forward to bringing that name to UK, and when I score touchdowns in the stadium, having the whole stadium going ‘Boom’ when I score.”
He admits it would be “cool” to have his name listed on the roster as Boom.
“I think fans would really like that,” Williams said.
Williams wasn’t expecting to commit to UK when he did last week. However, he said his visit was “so great” he felt there was no need to wait any longer.
“I can’t wait to get back up here. I can’t wait until they have home games this year I can watch,” Williams said. “The whole atmosphere when I came up for my visit was great. Just the love everybody showed me. It was unbelievable. I don’t think I have ever been anywhere where the connection with all the coaches is like that. I just felt like it was a great home for me. Everything was great. Academics, athletics, football. They expect a lot out of players on the field and academically. It’s just a great school where I can get a great education.
“Me and my family felt that would be my home. My mom felt comfortable. My dad did. My sister did. That is was also helped trigger my commitment. We all felt like it was the right place for me.
“The coaches talk about the most loyal fans and the family atmosphere on campus. All those things they said were true. You don’t get many people to talk straight up with you about things, but the Kentucky staff was that way. Me and my mom were both really impressed. She loves Kentucky and can’t wait to get me rolling up there and I can’t wait to make Kentucky a big school in the SEC again.”
Williams, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds as a 175-pound freshman when he verbally committed to Georgia, had not heard from Kentucky before the new staff arrived. He knew about head coach Mark Stoops from his reputation at Florida State and UK running backs coach Chad Scott had recruited him for Texas Tech.
“I hadn’t even received any mail from Kentucky before. Hearing from Kentucky was something totally new to me and my family. Once they started recruiting me, they were really impressed with my film. I was definitely interested in trying to help Kentucky be one of the top schools in the SEC,” Williams said.
“I watched film of the offense and how they use their running backs. They spread guys out over the whole field so that defenses can’t have many guys in the box. That will let me operate in the middle behind my offensive linemen. The offense allows me to get in space and make plays. The coaches are looking for me to make plays and will put the ball in my hands to make plays. I’ll get to make plays one on one against linebackers and hopefully send out a lot of booms in the Kentucky stadium. Just looking at what (offensive coordinator Neal Brown and staff) ran at Texas Tech, they’ll let me set up my blocks and then it will be up to me to do some work and score.
“We will have a lot of mismatches. (Quarterback) Drew Barker will have so many weapons. I’ll do most of my work making plays and catching balls. I started trying to expand my game in spring practice so defenses could not get a feel for me at one position. Expect me to be all over the field making plays at Kentucky.”
He said he “clicked” with UK secondary coach Bradley Dale Peveto, his main recruiter. That was another reason he picked UK over Mississippi State, West Virginia, Arizona and Wisconsin, his other finalists after he de-committed from Georgia.
“I just wanted to be part of something great with coach Stoops,” Williams said. “It’s just an honor to be recruited by Kentucky. This is going to be the best recruiting class Kentucky has ever had. We have got a lot of great people. There are a lot of things going on, and more guys are going to come, too. Kentucky recruiting is just going crazy. To be honest, I’ve never seen a fan base like Kentucky. The fans are incredible and stick with the team. I can’t wait to play in front of those crazy fans.”