Stanley "Boom" Williams, the highest-ranked prospect (Rivals.com) in Kentucky's 2014 recruiting class, says the UK coaches have made it clear they have high expectations for him.
UK is apparently using jersey assignment to show how high. Williams, a Monroe, Ga., product, said he will wear No. 18 next season at Kentucky. That, of course, was the number worn in the recent past by UK stars Jacob Tamme (now with the Denver Broncos) and Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers).
"Jacob Tamme and Randall Cobb made so many big plays in it," Williams said Wednesday, not long after he had signed his national letter of intent. "It's an honor to wear it."
(No. 18 is worn by current Kentucky safety Glenn Faulkner. Teams can have more than one player wearing the same number so long as they are not on the field at the same time.)
According to Rivals.com, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Williams is the 118th-best Class of 2014 prospect in the country, the nation's fourth-best all-purpose running back and the No. 10 prospect in the talent-rich state of Georgia.
Williams said his playing style is characterized by an ability "to make exciting plays." As a junior for George Walton Academy, he ran for 1,948 yards and 24 touchdowns. This past season, he had 1,416 yards and 21 TDs on the ground.
He acquired the nickname "Boom," Williams said, from a public address announcer after an especially explosive performance in a high school game. "'Boom' means making an impact," Williams said. "I like (the nickname), I embrace it."
Todd Shelnutt, an assistant coach at George Walton, said Williams is more than a smallish, scatback type. "He's not tall, but he's not small," Shelnutt said. "He's a thick, well-sculpted athlete. He can run into the line. But you get him in a seam, he's 'Boom.' He can really go."
Williams originally committed to Georgia after his freshman season of high school but parted ways with the Bulldogs in what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution termed a "mutual decision." Williams said he ultimately picked Kentucky because "I think I'm a perfect fit in their offense."
Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com.