If you’re the type of person who only pays attention to the football, you might think Aeris Williams was a having a solid but unspectacular year for the Mississippi St. Bulldogs. But for those who pay attention to the entire field of play, they know just how valuable Aeris Williams has been to this Mississippi State team and their 7-2 season to this point of the year.
When the Bulldogs lost to Georgia and Auburn, there was a section of Mississippi State fans who began to plead for Nick Gibson and Kylin Hill to be the primary backs in the Bulldogs’ offense. And based on stats, I understand why they had this belief.
Williams has rushed the football 163 times for 776 yards. He’s averaging 86.2 yards per game and 4.8 yards per attempt and has scored two touchdowns this season. Those are good numbers, but won’t get Williams on the All-SEC team. Conversely, Kylin Hill is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and Nick Gibson is getting 6.1 yards per carry.
Despite the better yards per carry average, Gibson and Hill don’t bring the complete package that Aeris Williams does to the table. He’s good in the passing game, and for a running back, is an elite level blocker.
Each Sunday, Brett Hudson from the Commercial Dispatch does a film study on the game we all just watched. Here are some of the things he has found Aeris Williams doing on the filed when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands.
MSU’s first TD: Kickout blocks by Aeris Williams and Farrod Green give Fitz alley to his left when Calhoun, as lead blocker, gets tied up inside pic.twitter.com/376xvFZ1kd— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) October 22, 2017
On this next one, the block that seals the touchdown by Nick Fitzgerald comes from Williams.
MSU’s go-ahead TD: looks like a RPO with a QB draw/bubble screen. 6 men in the box, Fitz correctly chooses the draw and he’s gone pic.twitter.com/hd8DRup5vz— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) November 5, 2017
Not as flashy, but you’ll notice Williams seals off the pocket for Fitzgerald on this play.
MSU’s 2nd TD: Playaction, watch Donald Gray lock up on block to sell it, still get separation to score. Impressive. pic.twitter.com/LKq2oQ3HGC— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) October 29, 2017
But the best example of what Williams can do comes on this play here against Kentucky.
Keytaon’s first touchdown: Stop what you’re doing and marvel at Aeris Williams’ effort. MARVEL AT IT, I SAY pic.twitter.com/qC3xIjgB1K— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) October 22, 2017
Aeris Williams isn’t the star of the Mississippi State offense. But you could easily make the argument that without him, the offense wouldn’t put up the nearly 34 points a game that it has been. Kylin Hill and Nick Gibson are immensely talented backs that I can’t wait to watch tear up opposing defenses as they gain more experience. But Aeris Williams, he’s the complete package.