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Notre Dame Football

Kyren Williams Staying The Same Kyren Williams

December 3, 2020
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"Greatness recognizes greatness, and is shadowed by it."

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams first caught the eye of Fighting Irish fans, then the ACC and now, the St. Louis native is catching the eye of the nation. 

The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder has rushed for 901 yards and 12 touchdowns this fall, but during last Friday's game, Williams caught the eye of LeBron James as he put the Irish up 31-17 late in the fourth. 

The celebration has taken over sports since 2013, but Williams wasn't expecting one of his idols to notice. 

"I was running in from the game when everybody in the locker room started coming up to me talking about how LeBron tweeted about me," recalled Williams. "I was shocked. I wanted to go look and he did. It was a really big blessing. 

"That's my superhero as a kid and as of right now. Seeing the way everybody looks at him and how he's changing the world, it's something I'll never forget and I'll always be grateful for it." 

And yes, Williams is one of the many who isn't afraid to stated LeBron is the G.O.A.T.
 
"I'm definitely Team LeBron no matter what it is, no matter what situations it is, no matter what team he is on," stated Williams. "I'm a LeBron fan. I would never root for the team, but that's if I don't like them. The Lakers, they're a cool team, so I like the Lakers only because of LeBron." 

The last year has been quite the turn of events for Williams as he went from redshirting to being No. 7 in the nation in rushing yards and having one of the world's most famous figures tweet at him. 

However, Williams hasn't changed and his focus remains on the work. 

"I don't really try to focus on that type of attention," Williams explained. "I really try to see myself as if I'm the same person I was last year. A one year difference has been huge. I never would have guessed I’d be where I'm at right now. 

"It talks to the work I put in through quarantine and the six months we went through away from here. I just made sure, no matter what it was, that if I put this work in, no one is going to outwork me. Having that mentality coming through this has been helpful." 

Williams can also back it up as he's proven he'll do the dirty work. Pass blocking has not only been something he's embraced, but Williams has become of the best pass-blocking backs in the country, if not the best. 

"I think the biggest thing for young running backs coming into college is confidence," said Williams. "It's the same person lining up across from you. He bleeds the same blood you bleed. Having the confidence to pass block is huge. 

"Obviously, you're going to be against people that are bigger than you, but you can't look at it like that. You have to have the bigger heart no matter how small or big you are." 

What's the key to Williams' success in pass pro? Well, it's like basketball. 

"I really look at pass blocking as if I'm guarding someone in basketball," stated Williams. "I try to stay low, move my feet and not let them run through me. You have to work your hands too. You have to lock on to that person." 

Notre Dame and Williams will host Syracuse in the regular-season finale this weekend, but the Irish are very aware they will be playing for an ACC title on Dec. 19th.

"It's crazy. You come to Notre Dame and you don't think you're going to play in any conference games. Now, we're in the ACC Championship for the first time in Notre Dame history and the first time ever in my career. 

"This is a goal as a team we've been preaching on since we joined the ACC. We were going to come in here and compete for an ACC Championship. 

"We still have Syracuse, but we see that goal in the future and we can't forget that we still have to work to get to that goal. We haven't accomplished anything yet."

 
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