Early in fall camp, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said freshman running back Delton Williams kind of looked like Le’Veon Bell running around.
On Saturday, Spartans fans got to see a little bit of Williams in action in MSU’s 26-14 win against Iowa.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound back carried the ball nine times for 32 yards in his debut, which he said he wasn’t sure would come in Iowa City.
”Coming into the second half, I was like, probably not, but I am going to keep bringing everyone up and doing what I can do make the team better and then I heard my name,” he said. “I was ready to go then. Everything just went up in the air. I was like, let’s go.”
While he wasn’t sure he was going to get in the game, he knew what to expect from Iowa.
“My coach told me that these guys aren’t going to be like guys in high school, so you gotta deliver the blow,” he said. “Don’t let these guys deliver the blow. I know what was expected of me when I got in there so I tried my best to do my best.”
Williams came on with 4:15 to go in the third quarter. On his first series, he got all three carries for eight yards before Michael Geiger kicked the second of his four field goals.
His next six carries netted 24 yards, with a long of 11. On the long run, Williams showcased his ability to break tackles as he broke through multiple Hawkeye defenders.
“I’m a power back,” he said. “If somebody hits me once, I don’t go down off one tackle. A couple guys gotta hit me.”
Which is why coach Mark Dantonio said the decision was made to take the redshirt off Williams.
”He’s just a little bit more of a banger,” Dantonio said. “He’s elusive in the hole, he’s got good vision in the hole and we wanted to play him.”
Williams said he received a lot more reps in practice during the bye week to get him prepared to play.
Still, it spoke volumes about the coaches’ view of him when he got carries in the fourth quarter in a one-score conference road game.
”I said we are gonna have to have three running backs and now is the time,” Dantonio said. “(Coaches) said are you alright with playing him and I said absolutely, let’s go. I said hold onto the ball and we went.
”He was a little shaky on that first one, but that was good for him and good for his confidence and he will come back even stronger now.”
Williams said he could tell it was a vote of confidence and he wasn’t surprised to get those carries late in the game.
”I just felt that my coaches and my team had confidence in me,” he said. “I just had to prove myself as a young buck.”
Dantonio also said Riley Bullough has moved from running back to fullback, giving the Spartans another option at the fullback spot.
Bullough had one catch for three yards against Iowa.