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Jazmier Williams Emerges from Augustus's Shadow

Let's get hypothetical for a moment.

Let's say you rush for more than 1,000 yards in your junior year, and you're all set to be "the guy" coming into your senior season. It's your year, colleges are starting to take notice, and your scholarship rests on the success and promise you show on each and every carry.

All of the sudden you find out one of the area's best running backs, Idreis Augustus has chosen to transfer out of Paul VI Catholic, and he's picked your school as his next destination. Your workload just got cut in half and maybe that means your scholarship offers will too.

How do you take the news? Well, since this happened to Lee senior running back Jazmier Williams, let's ask him.

"When I first heard he was coming I was nervous and worried," said Williams, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder who scored two touchdowns -- including one in overtime -- in Lee's 22-21 victory over Westfield on Friday. "But then when I heard that coach was going to [rotate us] I was like all right I'm still going to be in the mix. I also knew it would help me out and give me a lot of breaks, and he's helping us out a lot, and I'm just happy we got him."

While Augustus is tearing up the Northern Region on a 14-yards per carry average, including a 19-carry, 174-yard game against Westfield (1-3) on Friday, Williams is emerging as a major weapon within a wildcat formation that sees him take direct snaps, often making it difficult for defenses and onlookers to track the football. He has speed, creativity, poise and grit to boot.

Williams has 318 yards on 46 carries this season, but he's got a knack for finding the end zone. He leads Lee with seven rushing touchdowns. Augustus also has seven. With the two of them working together and QB Greg Lopez using a run-first, pass-second mentality, the Lancers are averaging 368 rushing yards a game.

"At the beginning of the season, it was watch out for Jazmier, and they were leaving [Augustus] open, and now they have to cover him, and they're leaving me open," said Williams. "Now, I'm doing all the running around the field and scoring touchdowns, and [defenses] have to figure out who has the ball, so I would say we have the same role because the defense doesn't know which of the three of us is going to get the ball for sure."

I talked with Lee Coach Rob Everett before the game about the Augustus-Williams rotation, and he was high on both players, but more importantly their ability to work together.

Both Williams and Augustus do more than just share carries, they share an ability to throw nasty blocks for each other -- something that's become a bit of a competition in its own right.

"They love it," said Everett. "They'll meet in the end zone afterward and say, 'I got you this time, you got me next time.'"

So far, it's all love in Springfield as the two speedy backs have helped the Lancers to a 4-0 start, the best start it's had in more than a decade.

What's more is that both backs, despite their lack of size, are starting to garner recruiting interest. Williams says he has yet to receive an official offer but he's getting interest from Towson, Richmond, Old Dominion, Louisville, Delaware and Boston College.

"I just look forward to going to college and playing ball," said Williams.

By B.J. Koubaroulis  |  September 28, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  AAA Concorde District , AAA Liberty District , AAA National District , AAA Patriot District  
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