Juice Williams is Competing

The question is no longer if Marshawn "Juice" Williams will contribute this fall, rather now folks are wondering how much will he play. In his Lane Stadium debut two Saturdays ago, Williams raised eyebrows with a stiff arm and powerful, yet shifty, set of moves. Last Saturday in Tech's second open scrimmage, he rushed 13 times for 66 yards. That performance raised expectations.

Frank Beamer had this to say Saturday about his true freshman's afternoon, "I thought he made a couple nice cuts. Planted his foot... And I think it's natural to him. I think that zone read play for him is very natural. He feels an opening and he hits it. You don't teach that a lot. I was impressed with him."

Juice made it clear to the media yesterday evening that one impressive outing won't separate himself from a pack of seven tailbacks trying to distinguish themselves this spring.

"I just had a good scrimmage. It doesn't say much of anything. If I can keep doing it constantly then it might say something, but that was just one scrimmage, so I just got to keep it going."

Williams is one of four tailbacks listed third on the depth chart, but when asked if he can tell where he fits in the pecking order, Williams replied, "Everything is spread out so equally, and competition is going so good for everybody. So there's no way to tell."

That's optimistic news for Tech fans hoping to see a running game resurgence this season. Juice's anything but juice-box-like size, plus his unique, imposing, controlled chaos running style would seemingly pair well with an offense wanting to control the ball and punish defenses between the tackles.

Pass protection was a stumbling point for another heralded Hokie running back named Williams. Ryan Williams took a redshirt year in 2008 after being unable to master blocking for the quarterback. Although, Marshawn claimed to know most of Tech's pass protection scheme.

"I kind of got it down. I'm pretty much there. Sometimes they throw some blitz in there that I've never seen before, but as far as overall, I'm good."

Even so, according to Shane Beamer Juice has to improve some before moving up a fluid depth chart.

"The thing I challenged Marshawn to do, and the reason I didn't have him higher is just finishing plays. You know playing full speed all the time when the ball is not going to him. When it's a pass, and he needs to cover downfield. We're continuing to harp on that, about the tempo and effort we want to play with every play."

Both coach and player noted understanding terminology was Williams' biggest problem at the moment.

"We've got about 8 different words that we use to get those guys to line up in an empty formation and move back to the backfield. And he would probably say his biggest challenge right now is just remembering where he lines in an empty formation to move back to the backfield. And if that's his biggest challenge, you know we're good. We can get the rest of it done."

As Marshawn put it, "Just getting used to the calls. That's really it, learning the plays better."

Repetition is the best cure for inexperience. Given Juice's talent and upside, for the last two weeks of spring practice I expect the ball to be in his hands often.

Comments

I cant wait to see what Juice can do rest of the spring and if he keeps preforming at these levels while progressing then hopefully come August he's atop the depth chart. I miss the days of big bruising Hokie backs like Lee Suggs, Cedric Humes, Darren Evans, and Ryan Williams.

H_O_K_I_E_S-HOKIES!

Proud Member Of The Key Play Community Since January 2012.

Juice's anything but juice-box-like size, plus his unique, imposing, controlled chaos running style would seemingly pair well with an offense wanting to control the ball and punish defenses between the tackles.

Love the description here Joe. Can August come any faster?

This dude is a beast, and I'm so stoked to see him play this fall. Him and Edmunds could be a powerful duo.

Sorry, but when I see Juice Williams I think of the Illinois quarterback. We should come up with something better, I personally like The Predator.

Rip his freaking head off!

JuiceMode...the kids main inspiration is Marshawn Lynch and you can see it in his playing style.

I'm gonna keep pushing that nickname like Rish Eisen did for Matty Ice "The Mattural." Consequently, it didn't work out for Rich...

If Josh Sweat commits to Tech he will probably take the nickname The Predator. Juice is nice for Marshawn.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Well, he goes by Juice and most likely his teammates will call him Juice...so I vote for....JUICE!

I have to say, even though I wasn't a Illinois fan, I always thought that was one of the better names in college football.

Maybe our Juice will make everyone forget the old Juice.

VHokie

His twitter is @RunJuice42 - Twitter makes everything official.

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

Ah yes the old Juice Williams. Never lived up to his hype or potential. This Juice should be a bit sweeter if ya know what I mean.

RealDiehl

Am I the only one who reads "Juice" and thinks of O J Simpson? I'm not that old, am I?

OJ was before my time but yes this is who I thought of as well.

High school nicknames are hard to let go of. But I completely agree with you.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Hey guys - I've been gone for a while.
Juice is a pretty solid nickname.
Speaking of nicknames, have we started calling Bucky 'The Winter Soldier' yet?

Juice!

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

13 carries for 66 yards is even more impressive seeing as that same 2nd team offensive line couldn't do squat for pass protection. I realize they are different but that line was getting chewed apart and juice still was impressive

West Virginian by birth, Hokie by choice

I foresee a lot of this in the future:
.

VT 12'... but once you're a Hokie, you're always a Hokie..

Whole heartedly agree - I hope we have several just from our game against the BooHoo's next year. This and Bucky catching TD's down the seam like Fleener did to us in the Orange Bowl.

The proud "V" in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University spelled out in chest paint.
North Endzone @ 03 Miami.

I just want to know how he is doing in pass protection. Let's face it if he is having issues there he isn't going to be on the field. If he can't block and everybody knows it, defenses are going to crash the line and overload the box stuffing him.

Not true. If a back is a tremendous threat running, play action can often be an easy way to cover up a back's weakeness in pass protection. Then, he comes out on clear passing downs for a 3rd down back.

Note, Andre Williams did not play on passing downs for Boston College and didn't have a catch all season (SOURCE: http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/bc/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2013-14/... )

Viva El Guapo

If only Billy Hite had agreed with this thinking....

It still chafes me that Ryan sat out 2008.

During their interviews with the media, both he and Shane seemed to agree on pass blocking not being an issue.

I agree with this, but it makes me wonder why Ru redshirted because of pass-blocking. That was CFB's reasoning for that redshirt.

RealDiehl

I'm not sure what you mean. According to Frank Beamer and Hite, Ru couldn't pass block in 2008. That's why he took a redshirt, or at least that was the reason publicly given. It seems as if Marshawn is becoming adept at it.

According to the NFL, Ryan Williams didn't pass block well ever and his draft-stock took a hit. At the time, he was quoted:

"In our offense our pass protection was so simplistic," Williams said. "There are protections that I don't know. I was talking to a lot of NFL coaches (at the combine), and one told me that they have 20 to 25 pass protections, and I'm used to three."

Maybe Ru could never really get pass-blocking down...

Or our overly simplistic offensive philosophy during those years of run ball into crowded line, screen pass, screen pass, punt simply didn't give him the skillset he needed to succeed going pro.

yeah I take that as more of a damnation of the offensive coaching than RMFW's ability

this is coming from the same offense that didn't coach the QB to go through progressions...let that sink in for a bit

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Ah, I misinterpreted the bit about Marshawn then. I was saying I was aware Ru redshirted because of his lack of pass-blocking skills, and it seemed to me that Shane and Marshawn alike said that pass-blocking skill was not an issue if he could run effectively enough.

RealDiehl

This gets me so excited. Although I love Trey, he's not on par with Suggs, KJ, RMFW, or David Wilson. He's Evans 2.0; a solid runner who can definitely make some plays. But it seems like Juice could be ELITE. Anytime someone gets on campus and makes an immediate impact like he has, you get the feeling they could be great.

More Juice, please.

Marshawn "Juice" Williams has Heisman trophy winner written all over him. Once he learns all the plays, he will give the offense much needed boost to return to the ACC championship!

This is getting exciting. I think it's time to start the bus up and get ready to roll this fall.

This kid likes to "Run behind his pads"....

I like that expression for a guy who feels like he can deliver a blow without fear of injury.

Andy Bitter's video interview with Shane Beamer (http://www.roanoke.com/sports/columns_and_blogs/blogs/andy_bitter_virgin... )
had an interesting point. Most of the focus has been on the 11 broken tackles, which is impressive. More critical, Shane noted that on those 11 broken tackles, Williams had 30 yards after contact. That means that Williams was gaining about 3 yards per carry, which is about the average we were seeing from the running backs behind this offensive line last year.

That extra 2.7 yards per carry is often the difference in sustaining drives. How many times over the last couple of seasons have the Hokies faced a critical 3rd and 2, had a hole open up, and the back could not defeat a tackler one on one to fall forward/push the pile for needed yardage? Williams can be that guy to get the extra yard.

Viva El Guapo

And here I was, all amped up about Shai McKenzie coming to Blacksburg (I mean the kid was about to break the all time rushing record in PA and 650 yds in 3 games his senior year)

If Shai returns from his injury 100% to what he was, I think it's a safe bet that VT will be in good shape at the running back position for the next 3 - 4 years.

Trey, Shai, and Juice is a nice stable of backs to have, if they're all healthy

True - looking at another Williams/Evans/Wilson backfield logjam coming up.

Edmunds/Williams/McKenzie/Caleb/Coleman plus the rest in the pile right now

We went from #ALLoftheTE's to #AlloftheRB's !!!

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

#VanillaVick will lead us to the promise land

We're still both. And I like it.

We're also still #ALLoftheQBs and #ALLoftheWRs at this point in time too. Couldn't say that so much in recent years.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Juice for Heisman,President and MVP of the NC game. Just think, he hasn't taken a snap and he already is getting serious ink.
I think he is going to be great but I still believe that Trey is a very fine RB. With juice it seems to be like, well, natural. With Tey he had to get adjusted but he did just that.

leeanderthal

Juice is defiantly going to see the field this fall. We need a TB with his type of talent and ability in the back field with this O-line which is still rebuilding and stock piling talent again.

Touchdown Tech - Bill Roth

Juice is defiantly going to see the field this fall.

Way to stick it to the man, Juice.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Lol not sure where spell check was going with this one..

Touchdown Tech - Bill Roth

I can already envision it: Every time Williams rushes for a first down or a big gain, everyone in the crowd will yell "Juiceeeeeeeeeeeeee" and follow it chugging one.
joose

Doesn't matter how, just Stick It In.