Roydell Williams has successfully returned to Alabama’s running back room in 2022, but it has been far from a painless process. The former 4-star junior from Hueytown recently detailed what he has gone through in his return from injury to Touchdown Alabama magazine.
“One day it’s sore, one day it feels good,” Williams said. “I learned to keep my composure and go on about how it feels and work on it.” Williams had suffered a career-ending on his lone rushing attempt during a 59-3 rout of New Mexico State on November 13, 2021.
The Crimson Tide rusher credited the training staff for keeping him prepared to play through the pain. “The training staff has done a great job,” Williams said. “I’ve gotten my speed back up. I can cut again and I am comfortable cutting on this leg. I have been very good out there. I have been getting comfortable with the offense, so it has been good.”
Roydell Williams Has Surpassed Trey Sanders on the Depth Chart
Trey Sanders, a junior out of Port Saint Joe, Florida, had a better yards-per-carry average than Roydell Williams — albeit by and large against lesser competition — in 2021. Sanders had a golden opportunity to get ahead of Williams on the depth chart here in 2022, but that didn’t come to fruition.
Instead, Williams has 31 carries to Sanders’ 12 this season. Both had a touchdown against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks back on September 17 but have largely been in the background in the Crimson Tide running back room.
Jase McClellan has been the clear top backup to Jahmyr Gibbs. Gibbs has nearly 2 times as many rushes as McClellan does (98 to 54), but McClellan has had significantly more opportunities than his junior counterparts in the backfield.
Nick Saban Explains Jahmyr Gibbs’ Success in First Year With Tide
Thus far, Nick Saban has gotten more than he ever could have bargained for with the first-year success of Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs. Gibbs has played his way into the Heisman conversation via his 672 rushing yards and 301 receiving yards through the Week 9 bye.
Saban detailed during the media scrum following the Vanderbilt victory on September 24 how Gibbs has fit into the offense. “He’s got a lot of experience,” Saban said. “Other than terminology – I mean, somebody calls a power play a zone play, an inside zone, an outside zone, a counter. They may call it a different name, but it really isn’t a different play. So experienced players can relate to things that they’ve done in the past that are similar to what we do here, and then obviously, it’s a terminology thing, but they understand five-man protection, they understand six-man protection, they understand seven-man protection. It just might be called something different. So experienced players can pick up on things much more quickly.”
Gibbs had 64 all-purpose yards against Vanderbilt. He followed that game up with 3 straight 100+ yards performances against Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Tennessee — with a 206-yard effort in Fayetteville October 1, a game in which Bryce Young injured his shoulder in the first quarter and Jalen Milroe filled in under center.