Former Auburn RB Carnell Williams: Current backfield needs ‘a little time and luck’

AUBURN, Ala. — For former Auburn star Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, watching the Tigers’ current backfield has been at times reminiscent of his days in Jordan-Hare.

That hasn’t necessarily been a good thing five games into 2017, though.

“Obviously they have a really good 1-2 punch with Pettway and Johnson,” Williams said. “The injury bug has bit those guys early on, though. It’s kind of funny now looking back at it because it’s one of the same things Ronnie Brown and I went through early on in our careers.”

Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Carnell Williams-Cadillac Williams
Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown combined for 1,753 yards in 2003, but totaled 2,078 during Auburn’s undefeated 2004 season (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

Williams remembered it seemed like whenever he was healthy something was plaguing Brown and vice versa. Arnold Gamber, who served as Auburn’s head athletic trainer from 1999 to 2010, did a “really great job” of getting the duo back on the field as soon as possible.

Still, sometimes things are out of your control.

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“Sometimes you just need a little time and luck on your side,” Williams said. “Just hope that you’re going to heal at some point and get healthy.”

After that, it’s all about staying focused, in tune, and keeping a positive mindset. It’s arguably more important that Johnson and Pettway set an example for their underclassmen, Williams said.

Instead of getting down, Williams said he expects the group to be working together and coaching each other up, especially in the meeting room. That type of approach will create depth and better prepare youunger players for when their opportunities do come.

Regardless of who’s attempting carries for Auburn, however, Williams believes the group will get rolling in the coming weeks. Especially since the rest of the offense has started clicking.

MORE: Auburn football expects offensive line to improve with new starting lineup in place

“They have a bunch of talented guys in that room,” Williams said. “No matter who plays this year I feel like they’ll be successful. They’ll start getting the running game going more. Jarrett’s playing a lot better. The offense is starting to really come together.”

That’s where a No. 3 running back comes in. And Williams has faith sophomore Kam Martin, who’s listed at 5-foot-10, 182 pounds can thrive despite his smaller stature.

“It can be problematic if they just turn around and try to give him the ball,” Williams said. “A guy with that kind of speed, I feel like he needs to get on the perimeter. Getting him out in space, I feel like that will better suit him.”

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