By Greg Eichelberger
Growing up in town and seeing the UC Davis football team in action for much of his life, one would think Courtney Williams would have dreamed of playing for the Aggies and being a part of that proud gridiron tradition.
It wasn’t always so, however, as the redshirt freshman considered several options after a solid career at Davis High, before finally walking on the field to join his hometown college squad.
“I had not really thought about playing for the Aggies too much until I talked with Coach (Bob) Biggs during my sophomore year,” said Williams, who collected 86 yards on just six carries, three of which went for touchdowns, in UCD’s 52-45 victory over Idaho State on Saturday. “I’d say my opinion and thoughts on the subject evolved from then until my senior year. I was impressed with what coach would say to me, so I thought it might be a good idea.”
Williams spoke about considering a few other schools and opportunities, but nothing solid ever came of those thoughts. After he missed time due to injury during his senior season at DHS, no offers or scholarships were forthcoming. However, what he’s already done for the Aggies this season may cause those responsible to second-guess themselves.
Blessed with blazing speed and a cutting ability reminiscent of a young Reggie Bush, Williams caught the eye of Biggs, who, along with his staff, found these and other attributes a possible key to the team’s future success.
“Courtney is very, very explosive,” Biggs said. “I think he will be a large part of our team’s plans for the next several years. He also has a lot of confidence in his abilities, which is as important as his God-given talent.”
And that term is quite accurate, according to Williams, who says he’s blessed to have such quickness.
“I am very lucky to have such speed,” he said, “but I give a lot of credit to my coaching staff and teammates as well. You can be the fastest person in the world, but if you’re not coached properly, or do not have blockers opening holes for you, it doesn’t do any good.”
Staying in Davis has tangible positives, too. Williams’ parents, Courtney Sr. and Carol, plus his grandmother, Winnie Bender, are more than happy to see him stay in town instead of living many miles away.
“They are quite happy with my decision, but they would have supported me no matter where I decided to go to school,” Williams said. “The fact that I am going to college is just as important to them as me playing at UC Davis.”
Still, his nod to the home team is a blessing to many of his teammates, who enjoy taking advantage of the young man’s many on-field talents.
“He might just be the fastest guy on our team,” said Aggie quarterback Randy Wright. “His speed and his overall talent took us completely by surprise. What he can do out there was perfectly demonstrated by his runs against Idaho State (Saturday).
“That 55-yard run was amazing. Once he gets in the flat and turns on the speed, no one can catch him.”
And with UCD’s entrance into the offensive-minded Big Sky Conference, Williams sees this as an opportunity for his squad, which focuses on a balanced running and aerial attack.
“I think we are establishing an identity right now,” Williams said. “We are running to set up the pass and I am very proud to be in on the beginning of this strategy. With the talent on this team, offense and defense, I think we will make a huge name for ourselves in this conference. I honestly believe in a few years, no one will be able to stop us.
“Whatever I can do to contribute to this success is all I want to continue to do.”