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Williams tearing up freshman charts

When running back Darren Evans went down with a season-ending knee injury in August, it left some uncertainty in Virginia Tech’s previously solid backfield.

But with a scintillating debut season, Ryan Williams has proven to be an apt replacement. In fact, Williams is having one of the best freshman seasons since, well, Evans in 2008 – and perhaps even better.

With five games remaining this year, Williams ranks third among Virginia Tech freshmen in single-season rushing yards with 834 yards. Evans ran for an ACC freshman record 1,265 yards last season. In 2001, Kevin Jones ran for 957 as a Hokies freshman.

Williams’s 11 touchdowns has matched Evans’s total from last year, a record for freshmen running backs at Virginia Tech. Williams’s five 100-yard rushing games set a record for a freshman running back at Virginia Tech; Evans’s had four such performances last year.

On Monday, Williams was named ACC rookie of the week. It was the fifth time he received the honor. North Carolina State quarterback Phillip Rivers was named conference rookie of the week eight times in 2000.

The last Virginia Tech player to earn conference rookie of the year honors was Jones, in 2001, as the Big East's top newcomer. in 1999, quarterback Michael Vick won Big East rookie of the year and offensive player of the year.

Williams has rushed for 150 yards or more three times this season, against Miami (150 yards), Boston College (159) and Marshall (164).

By Mark Viera  |  October 20, 2009; 1:05 PM ET
 
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