Terence Williams is a big man with a big, hearty laugh.
Williams tries to take an upbeat outlook to life – and to football. It’s served Baylor’s junior running back well. After rushing for 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016, he was poised for big things this year in his first season with Matt Rhule, Jeff Nixon and company running the show.
But a shoulder injury, and Baylor’s depth issues on the offensive line, have combined to slow Williams’ progress in 2017. He looked like his old self against Oklahoma State, carrying 10 times for 95 yards, but then was limited to 36 yards in Baylor’s next two games.
However, Williams responded like a champ in Baylor’s 38-9 win over Kansas last week, producing 110 yards in rushing, receiving and returns while scoring his first touchdown of the season.
Williams took a timeout this week to talk with the Trib about his running style, his nickname and his future plans.
Your names are spelled differently, you play different positions, but how many times have you been mistaken for the other Terrance Williams that played at Baylor?
A lot. I tend to not even tell people who I am now. (Laughing). Yeah, I don’t say anything about football unless they just ask me or notice who I am. I try to minimize those mistakes.
Does anyone around here call you Terence, or is it always T-Will?
Everybody calls me Dub or T-Dub. Some of the coaches call me Terence. Most of them call me Dub, but I think Coach (Jeff) Nixon calls me Terence, Coach (Matt) Rhule calls me Terence.
Does Mama call you Terence?
No, my Mom calls me T.J. That’s what my family calls me, T.J.
I’ve been working on a nickname for you, wanted to see what you think about it. “The Menace From Ennis.”
(Laughing) I’ve heard that one that before.
OK, so that’s not original.
Nah, a couple of people from Ennis have called me that before. I forgot who, but I’ve heard it before. That’s a good one, though, I do like it.
You run hard, you run physical. Where did that style develop?
Really, just in the streets growing up. We found any field we could play in. If we couldn’t find a field, we would just play football in the parking lot or something. I grew up, got two brothers, and me and my brothers and my cousins all used to live in the same house at one point, so all the guys that lived with us were older than me, so I was the young guy. And they really made me who I am, really. All the older people in the neighborhood that we grew up in, they made us who we are.
Do you seek out hits? You’re not looking to get hit, but do like lowering your shoulder sometimes?
Yeah, I’d rather deliver the pain than receive it. (Laughing). I tend to lower my shoulder and deliver it.
If they ever needed you to flip over to linebacker for a play, could you do it?
Yeah. Yeah. I could do that, if you want me to. I could do a couple of plays, whatever they need me to do, I’m down with it.
Beyond Baylor, what are your plans?
I mean, everybody wants to go to the NFL, but if that don’t work out I want to coach. A lot of coaches influenced me in my life, and I want to give back, be that person that influences the young guys. Keep their minds on the right path.