Coaching Breakdown: Gavin Williams

Dowling Catholic running back Gavin Williams is part of Iowa's 2020 recruiting class. (Brian Powers/Des Moines Register for USA Today Sports)

Adam Hensley

Gavin Williams is one of the top prospects in Iowa football's 2020 recruiting class. Ranked as a three-star tailback by 247 Sports, he's one of the Hawkeyes' top skill position players in the group.

Last season with Dowling Catholic, Williams rushed for 1,263 yards and 18 touchdowns (both team-high marks) on just 140 carries. He also snagged six passes for 22 yards and another touchdown, too.

Here's how Dowling Catholic head coach Tom Wilson breaks down Williams' game.

Fitting into Iowa's zone run scheme

Wilson sees plenty of similarities with what his program runs in comparison to the Hawkeyes when it comes to a zone run scheme.

"Within our zone schemes, ironically similar to what Iowa does, I think that fits him very, very well," Wilson said. "His patience has been terrific. I felt like he was a patient runner before we got him, and I think he matured even as the season went on, as he understood what we were trying to do."

Williams has the tools to make something out of nothing, but it's that maturity — that ability to wait for a play to develop while still maintaining control — that should guide him down the road, according to Wilson.

"It’s about patience," he said. "When you hit the gas, you hit the gas. I think that’s where he is very good, and I think he can fit into a lot of schemes that way, especially with an inside-outside zone scheme."

All-around running back

When asked about how he'd describe Williams, Wilson listed out plenty of adjectives for the newest Iowa tailback.

"His vision is excellent," Wilson said. "I think he probably has more power than maybe he was given credit for. His speed has always been something that was highly regarded. I think he’s good good speed. I’m not sure he’s a burner. I think he’s got great vision. Another part of his game that was very good was how he can catch the ball out of the backfield."

Williams isn't known for his hands, as Dowling didn't utilize him frequently in through the air.

But before transferring to Dowling, Williams played three seasons with Southeast Polk. In his sophomore year, his receiving skills were on full display. Williams hauled in 20 passes for 421 yards and a pair of touchdowns that season, ranking second on the team in receptions and yards.

Improving as a blocker

Williams isn't a finished product, according to his coach.

Wilson noted that Williams wasn't used often as a blocker with Southeast Polk, so when he transferred to Dowling, that aspect of his game became one of the top priorities.

"We identified by watching his film that (blocking) was something he needs to take pride in and work on," Wilson said. "We presented that to Gavin and challenged him with that. During our run last year, there’s more than one instance where that was instrumental in our success —him blocking for another back or him blocking for our quarterback."

Dowling utilized a three-man rushing attack, and Williams split carries with a quarterback and another tailback. In fact, Williams' 140 carries ranked second to fellow back Teagan Johnson (167).

"Really, he gets more excited about other people’s success than his own," Wilson said. "... It was never about Gavin getting his. It was more about how our team was playing and our overall team success. As a coach, you can’t ask for anything more than that."

You can follow Adam Hensley on Twitter @A_Hens83.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
RobertMac
RobertMac

Saw him play in high school a couple of times. He'll be in that backfield in a couple of years.


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