Williams brings ‘Tebow effect’ to Pokes offense
LARAMIE -- When the name Tim Tebow was brought up, Levi Williams just laughed.
Maybe it's just the No. 15 that draws that conclusion? Or the fact that Wyoming's true freshman bowled over Colorado State linebackers, safeties during his first collegiate game?
That was certainly Tebow-esque.
Williams is a humble kid with a big smile. His 6-foot, 5-inch 208-pound frame is deceiving. He looks like the nice young man sitting in the pew next to you at church.
See where the Tebow stuff is coming into play?
"It was awesome," Williams said of seeing his first action in a Cowboys uniform on a freezing Friday night in Laramie. "I've been working since I was 5 years old to play in college. My plan is to take it and run with it. You never know when your last snap is going to come. I'm just grateful to get this opportunity."
Wyoming knocked off its Border War rival, 17-7. It was the Cowboys' fourth consecutive victory over CSU. Williams had plenty to do with the outcome, too.
He did this to seal the win:
Early in the week, Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl and offensive coordinator, Brent Vigen, began to devise a plan for the young signal caller. They had plenty of faith in starting quarterback, Tyler Vander Waal, what they didn't have much belief in was that running back Xazavian Valladay could stay healthy for a full 60 minutes.
To take some pressure off Valladay and split some carries, the Wyoming coaching staff inserted the Canyon Lake, Texas, product into the lineup. He was effective, too. Williams rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries. Midway through the third quarter, Williams took a direct snap under center and bashed his way into the end zone for his first career touchdown.
He calmly rose to his feet, tapped his chest and pointed skyward.
That was the eventual game-winner.
And instead of taking a knee and placing a fist on the forehead, it will be the Williams "point to the sky."
"It's football," Williams smiled. "It's kind of like coffee -- every time you drink some, you want some more."
Williams was rotating with Vander Waal all night against the Rams. That was until the sophomore went down with a right ankle injury and was carted off the field. Williams took every snap for two possessions, completing both passing attempts for 25 yards.
On his last pass of the night, he was smoked in the chest. He stood up and took a few steps before dropping to his knees in agony. The crowd went silent.
It didn't look good.
"We let through their defensive end," Williams said. "He put his helmet right where I had no padding and knocked the air out of me. It's nothing serious."
It also appeared that Williams thumb on his throwing hand hit the top of a CSU helmet.
"My thumb is fine. I didn't feel anything in my hand," he said, adding that it was "pretty chilly."
Unlike NFL Tebow, Williams has more tools at his disposal. He can actually throw the ball with accuracy. That's where this comparison takes a nosedive.
During his senior year of high school, Williams threw for 3,239 yards and 32 touchdowns. He added 1,230 rushing yards and 16 scores on the ground. 247Sports called Williams the fifth best pro-style quarterback in Texas a season ago. That's why Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU and Houston wanted him.
He signed with Houston out of high school, but was able to get out of his commitment when the university hired new head coach, Dana Holgersen.
Their loss was Wyoming's gain.
"He had come on and done a really nice job," Bohl said of Williams. "He brought a little extra in the running game. Where 'X' was at, we felt like we needed to spread some carries around. When X went down, we needed him."
Bohl added that Williams is more than capable of throwing the ball. He will not be a "wildcat" type of signal caller.
Williams will no doubt take some snaps in Colorado Springs Saturday afternoon when the Cowboys take on rival Air Force at noon. He said he has watched some condensed games and saw a bit of the Falcons victory over New Mexico last Saturday.
The things he doesn't know, the upperclassmen have already told him.
"Yes, that's one of the first things I was told about this game -- they do not like Air Force," he said. "I'm excited to get to play these guys. I have friends who play for Air Force. It will be good to see them and, also beat them, which will be great."