In many ways, redshirt sophomore running back Leshon Williams’ career is just getting started with the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Chicago, Ill., native enters his third year on campus after a redshirt season in 2020 where he didn’t see any action and a 2021 campaign that saw Williams net just 69 rushing yards.
The 5-foot-10, 205 pound running back out of Richards High School is undoubtedly chomping at the bit for a more leading role. Williams arrived in Iowa City as part of the Hawkeyes’ 2020 signing class. He was rated as a three-star running back by 247Sports, the nation’s No. 56 running back and the No. 11 player from Illinois.
After seeing just 21 carries in 2021, the green light is officially on for Williams. Tyler Goodson, Iowa’s leading rusher from last season, departed to the NFL where he’s signed as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers. Goodson finished 2021 with 1,151 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns on 256 carries.
That’s a lot of production for Iowa to replace, but it also means there’s great opportunities for those in the Hawkeyes’ backfield. The next-closest rusher was redshirt sophomore Gavin Williams. Gavin Williams carried 65 times for 305 rushing yards.
Leshon Williams has to feel like 2022 is his first legitimate opportunity to shine for Iowa as a featured runner. Let’s take a look at Williams’ profile in Iowa City thus far and his depth chart outlook for 2022.
Preseason player profile
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Class in 2022: Redshirt sophomore
Three-star / No. 56 running back / No. 16 player from Illinois
Depth chart overview
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK
Leshon Williams opened up the spring listed as Iowa’s No. 2 running back behind Gavin Williams. Obviously, both of those two running backs were behind Tyler Goodson a season ago.
Now, with Goodson off to Green Bay, somebody has to step in and fill his 1,000-yard season for an offense that’s desperate for playmakers. Last season indicated that Gavin Williams was ahead of Leshon Williams in terms of production. Gavin rushed 65 times for 305 yards, while Leshon finished with 69 rushing yards on 21 totes.
While it appears Gavin will begin the season as Iowa’s top running back on the depth chart, Leshon will still earn serious reps as the Hawkeyes’ No. 2 running back. The Chicago native should also have the chance to prove that he should be the primary rusher if he impresses in Iowa’s nonconference games.
— LESHON WILLIAMS 4️⃣ (@LboogieG) September 12, 2021
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