Miami Hurricanes salute to seniors: FB Marquez Williams

Marquez Williams is congratulated by Chris Herndon (right) and David Njoku (86) after scoring a touchdown against Florida A&M. (Getty Images)

Marquez Williams is congratulated by Chris Herndon (right) and David Njoku (86) after scoring a touchdown against Florida A&M. (Getty Images)

One in a series of short pieces about each Miami senior leading up to the Hurricanes’ final home game of 2016, Saturday against Duke. 

The rest of the series: 

S Jamal CarterC Alex Gall | RG Danny Isidora | S Rayshawn Jenkins | P Justin Vogel | TE/DE Stan Dobard | CB Corn Elder | WR Malcolm Lewis | CB Adrian Colbert | WR Stacy Coley | FB Gage Batten | FB Marquez Williams | LS Frank Gabriel, five others

* * *

Mark Richt was excited about Marquez Williams. “He’s what you’re looking for,” Richt repeated last summer, speaking about his 280-pound bowling ball of a fullback who set records in the weight room.

If Richt was excited about his arrival, Williams was joyous.

Williams came to Miami from Division 2 Mars Hill college and was thankful for every day he spent as a Hurricane. When players got their new workout gear, he wore it proudly. When they had a tasty meal after a practice, he ate gratefully. It was all new to him, and he appreciated it.

“It has been quite a ride, I can say that much,” said Williams, who often punctuates his sentences with a wide grin. “I think I just value most that I was able to have a shot to play Division I football like I always wanted to. I’ve been trying to embrace that every single day. It’s been great.”

Great? That word doesn’t come close to describing his feeling when he caught Brad Kaaya’s first pass of the season, and dove into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown. But Williams, who also recorded a 15-yard catch and a 1-yard carry this season, doesn’t count it as his clear-cut best moment at UM.

“The touchdown and also the fourth-and-1 play against Virginia, where Mark [Walton] almost sprung out, was a great play,” he said, recalling a block he made. How very fullback of him.

“One of the best plays was one play where I wasn’t even on the field,” he added. “When Standish [Dobard] got his sack. I was a real big fan of him when he went and got his sack.”

Williams, generously listed at 6-foot-1, is a bully when he connects with a block. If he has a good showing at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January — he accepted an invite — he may have a few fullback-friendly teams interested. UM believes Williams has a shot to stick on a roster if he can show his versatility on special teams.

No question he’ll be willing. And grateful for the chance.

 

New Miami FB Marquez Williams, who power-cleans 381 and squats 575. Richt likes him.

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