Williams impressing as receiver for UR
Knights star played receiver, running back, quarterback and defense at Thomas Dale
Jasiah Williams contributed in so many ways at Thomas Dale High that debate rose about what position he might play in college. At the University of Richmond, Williams plays receiver.
In a short time, he has shown he belongs there, said coach Russ Huesman.
Williams, a 5-foot-11 170-pounder, is in his first year as a Spider and stood out in fall practices, arranged and spaced out when the pandemic scratched Richmond’s season. The Spiders seek fresh, reliable targets after the departure of last season’s top two receivers, graduate transfers Keyston Fuller (Duke) and Charlie Fessler (Northwestern).
As a senior at Thomas Dale, Williams rushed 99 times for 657 yards and 15 touchdowns, and caught 24 passes for 409 yards and five touchdowns. He also completed 59 of 104 passes for 1,111 yards, 11 touchdowns. On defense, Williams made 57 tackles,
broke up 14 passes, and had two interceptions.
UR’s staff viewed Williams as a receiver all along.
The Spiders hold session No. 15, the maximum allowed by the NCAA for teams not competing in the fall, Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Robins Stadium. For UR’s football program, it will be an autumn-closing scrimmage, the November version of a spring game.
No fans are allowed in Robins Stadium, but there still may be some applause. Huesman said he is so inclined because of the attitude the
Spiders demonstrated through an unprecedented twist delivered by the national health crisis. The coach asked his players to show up at each practice with energy and focus, despite the disappointment of a season suspended.
“We really got that done,” Huesman said Wednesday. “I’m proud of the team. It would have been real easy to pack it in after about six or seven (practices) thinking, ‘Wait a minute now. We’re not playing a game here.’ These guys never did. They came to work, and I think we got better.
“So many guys were excited to be out there, which made it fun.”
Huesman noted that fifth-year senior quarterback Joe Mancuso, a three-year starter and captain, “stepped up in a leadership role and you could see him taking charge of the football team.”
The Spiders have six CAA games scheduled for the spring semester — two each with William & Mary, James Madison and Elon — from March 6 to April 10. The FCS playoffs, with 16 qualifiers rather than the usual 24, will proceed subsequently. All of that is dependent, of course, on the pandemic allowing competition to occur.
“I like my team a lot,” Huesman said. “Whether we play in the spring, I have no idea.”