Auburn coach Gus Malzahn had withheld Williams from fall camp practices for a disciplinary issue which he never did elaborate, initially only saying that “nobody is bigger than the team”. Although Williams was back with the team Thursday, he did very little in practice.
“We’re going to be different obviously and we know we have a different quarterback with a skill set that isn’t like Nick (Marshall) at all”, running backs coach Tim Horton said.
This was the day Jeremy Johnson had waited throughout all preseason camp.
But the short-term effects of Williams’ return will be just as important for the Tigers.
According to a story earlier in the week by Crepea, Auburn has rotated Ricardo Louis, Melvin Ray, Myron Burton Jr. and Darius Slayton as Williams’ usual spot at split end/”X” receiver.
“Those are guys that have played that position before and are doing a nice job”, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said, via Crepea. Second, Williams has not been the most durable player on the college gridiron. “I like the way he has responded to Coach Lashlee”. “More than anything, he’s been performing well, which is the No. 1 thing you can do to lead – go out there and show them how to do it”.
“Williams, as a bona fide star, is different than a third-teamer trying to make the travel squad”, Marshall wrote. I like the way he’s responded to his teammates really on both sides of the football.
It would appear Williams has come to the same realization, because in answering questions about his reinstatement Thursday, Malzahn said “I try to keep the same standard for everybody”.
Whatever he did was good enough to get pushed to the bottom of the receiver depth chart, even though he was the Tigers’ leading receiver past year.