BOSTON (CBS) – With 634 rushing yards in his last two games, Boston College running back Andre Williams has run right into the Heisman Trophy discussion.
But a personal accomplishment is the furthest thing from his mind at the moment. With their win over NC State on Saturday the Eagles became bowl eligible for the first time since 2010, and playing in late December or January is much more important to Williams than bringing home a trophy for just himself.
“I just want to win,” a humble Williams told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Sunday’s Sports Final. “It’s been two seasons with losing records, and it really stinks to be sitting at home when everyone else is playing football.”
“Coach [Steve Addazio] told me accomplishments are a derivative of success, and real success is winning games; knowing your role and being able to execute your role. I think if we continue to have true success, the accomplishments will continue to roll,” said Williams.
The senior is up to an NCAA-leading 1,810 yards for the season, and has a great chance to become just the 16th back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season in FBS play. Williams scored two more touchdowns on Saturday giving him 14 for the season, an impressive total thus far after he scored just 10 touchdowns in his previous three years at the Heights.
With 10 games under his belt in 2013, Williams has 3,387 career yards to make him fifth all-time in BC history. He sits just 348 yards behind Montel Harris’ record of 3,735 yards.
While he doesn’t like to focus on individual accomplishments, Williams did take a few seconds to reflect on his 339-yard game against the Wolfpack. It set a school and ACC single-game record, and he did it on Senior Day with his family in the stands.
“It was great. My mom and dad came to the game for Senior Day and the emotions were running really high,” he said before quickly shifting focus back onto the team win. “We weren’t going to let that game escape us. The seniors took it upon themselves to have their best game on that day in those 60 minutes between the white lines.”
Williams has transformed himself from a back-up fighting for a role to a behemoth in the Heisman discussion under new head coach Steve Addazio, who Williams says pushes him and his teammates to hit that next level.
“A football team, they take on the identity of their head coach. Coach Addazio is a real aggressive and emotional guy; probably the most aggressive and emotional guy I’ve met,” he said. “But football isn’t much more than aggression and emotion and it energizes us coming out listening to him before a game. It gets your mind in the right place.”
But Williams’ inspiration doesn’t stop there. He also looks to his family to keep that fire burning on and off the football field.
“My older brother wore #44 in high school and college. He played for a year at UNH and didn’t really get to go as big as he should have. He was really talented too, and I’m just trying to do something that he wasn’t able to do,” he explained.
“I play for my mom,” Williams added. “She says she doesn’t want to live the second half of her life like she lived the first half of her life. I really want to make that a reality for her.”
So Williams will keep churning those legs as the Eagles close out their 2013 schedule, hopefully off to a Bowl game for the first time in three years. Hitting the 2,000 yard mark this season, setting a new rushing record at BC, or getting to sit up on the Heisman stage in New York are in the back of the Williams’ mind as the Eagles hit their stretch run.
That doesn’t mean he can’t dream big. As a Senior, Williams knows his time on the collegiate field is coming to an end very soon. But with the season he is having, his football days may not be over so soon.
The NFL could soon come knocking for college football’s best rusher.
“That’s the plan,” he said with a big smile.
Tune in to Sports Final every Sunday night on WBZ-TV at 11:35 p.m.!
MORE SPORTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON