Despite splitting carries last season with two other accomplished backs - including DeMarcus Edwards, who's now entering his freshman year with Pittsburg State - Lee's Summit running back Ryan Williams rushed for 1,100 yards as a junior.
Now, with Edwards and No. 3 back Andrew Palmer graduated, the Missouri pledgee will be asked to do even more. And not just on the offensive side of the ball.
The Titans' coaching staff has told Williams to expect regular season reps at cornerback in addition to the extra carries he'll receive on offense.
"They're going to let me play some defense because we lost a couple of corners," the 5-foot-10, 178-pound Williams said. "I haven't played defense in years. I'm just going to try and do everything I can to make my team successful."
Williams, the ninth-ranked player in the state, committed to Missouri in February. Playing in the SEC was paramount for the three-star prospect, but Williams admits he was on the fence about Missouri until he saw the Tigers rattle off one of the most impressive seasons in school history - a 12-2 campaign that concluded with a victory over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.
"They aren't just like the doormat of the SEC," Williams said. "To see that they're competing is huge. That had a significant impact on it."
Before he becomes a Tiger in 2015, Williams will have plenty on his plate. Lee's Summit West coaches have told Williams to prepare to play four quarters in the fall. And the work for Williams doesn't end when football season does. He also starts at shooting guard on the Titans' basketball team.
"I love conditioning," Williams said. "I love getting myself prepared for the season. I'm excited to get it going this year."
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