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Parkland High School graduate Andre Williams leads the nation in rushing yards. Parkland High School graduate Andre Williams leads the nation in rushing yards.

BC's Williams leads the nation

Thursday, November 21, 2013 by TODD KRESS in Sports

The Lehigh Valley is certainly aware what Andre Williams can do out of the backfield after watching him at Parkland High School.

Now the entire nation is getting a clear view of the Boston College senior running back.

While Williams continues to make history in the collegiate ranks at Boston College, in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision, he remains humble.

"I've been through my ups and downs at BC," Williams said. "I've been through about five different offensive coordinators, two different head coaches, [and] four different running back coaches.

"It's really been a journey. It hasn't been easy. But overall, I feel like coming to BC was the right choice for me. I couldn't necessarily see it from the beginning, but I think in the end it really helped shape my character and it really humbled me."

Williams began his career at Boston College running for a combined 1,582 yards in his first three seasons. What he has accomplished in his final collegiate season is something not even Williams could've imagined.

Williams holds a healthy margin as the nation's leading rusher, tallying 1,810 yards on 288 carries through just 10 games. He also has 14 rushing touchdowns on the season, including two in each of the last three games. Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs is second in the nation with 1,439 rushing yards.

"It does seem a little surreal," Williams said. "I didn't really imagine being able to do anything like this. Personally, I just wanted to hit 1,000 yards on the season, and that came way before I thought it would. I just feel like I'm being blessed right now by God to be able to stay healthy enough to show the world what I can do."

Williams seems to be breaking a record nearly every weekend. Most recently, in the Eagles' latest game against North Carolina State, he ran for a career best and school record 339 yards on 42 carries, which is also a season high in the FBS. That propelled Williams to break the school's single-season rushing record in convincing fashion.

Just a week before his career-setting day, Williams recorded a career-best 295 rushing yards against New Mexico State on November 9. He has run for 166 yards or more in each of the last four games.

"We understand what kind of offense that we run," Williams said. "We're a physical, downhill power game type of team. It's really difficult for teams to handle us in terms of staying stout and staying disciplined for four quarters.

"The O-line was really executing well the entire game, and by the time the fourth quarter came around, I was already over 100 yards. It really wears teams down when they have to deal with a power running game for four quarters."

In terms of school history, Williams is currently tied for fourth in rushing attempts (637), fifth all-time in career rushing yards (3,387), and tied for eighth in rushing touchdowns (24). He's also tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns in a season (14), holds two of the top three single-game rushing marks in Boston College history, is tied for first with five rushing touchdowns in a game and holds a school record with 42 attempts in a game.

"I try to stay humble," Williams said. "My mom raised me in a Christian household and really showed me what is the true value of people. I've realized that people will respect you for your work, but they're always going to admire you for your personality."

Williams is 348 yards away from tying Montel Harris's school record of 3,735 career-rushing yards.

While the accomplishments and record-setting performances have certainly made him one of the top running backs in the country, Williams has always been focused on a bowl game appearance over anything else.

While carrying the Eagles on his shoulders en route to his career-day against North Carolina State, it looks as if he'll get his wish. The Eagles improved to 6-4 (3-3 in the ACC) with games against Maryland and Syracuse remaining on the schedule. A bowl game is in sight.

"Our main goal as a team, coming into the season, was to become bowl-eligible before anything else," Williams said. "That's always been in the forefront of my mind."