By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He knows it’s his turn. The truth is the Gophers will probably rotate the running back position starting Thursday night against TCU.

But if there is going to be a featured back, it’s Rodrick Williams. Watch him on the football field and you would hardly know that this running back has had to grow up emotionally.

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“Probably my freshman and sophomore years here I wasn’t as focused. I was still on the young side. I was wanting to party still, a lot of times they had to remind me,” Williams said.

Watch him on the field and you see a young man who is doing just that, growing up.

“I’m not saying Rodrick is going to be exactly like David (Cobb) on the football field. They’re different styles, different people, but the maturation of Rodrick over the last four years has been pretty remarkable as well,” Offensive Coordinator Matt Limegrover said. “He’s one of the guys that’s become a team leader.”

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Part of the maturation is watching and playing with the running back in front of him on the depth chart. The past two seasons it was David Cobb.

“It goes back to coach Kill saying when the opportunity presents itself, you need to take advantage of that,” Williams said.

So here he goes, his chance to be the bruising back, to run the football and run it hard.

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“I feel like I am that punishing runner. I feel like it’s going to be a fun year,” Williams said.

Mike Max