NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Notre Dame redshirt freshman running back Kyren Williams has been added to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American Watch List. The initial list, released in October, also included true freshman tight end Michael Mayer, who continues to be included on the watch list.
A four-time ACC Running Back of the Week in 2020, Williams has taken the college football scene by storm, totaling five 100-yard rushing performances. Through nine games, Williams has totaled 901 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, adding 21 receptions for 235 yards and a touchdown in the air. He leads the Irish in rushing, and his total receptions rank third on the team.
Williams leads all FBS freshman in rushing touchdowns (12) and total touchdowns (13), and ranks second among all FBS freshman in total rushing yards (901). Amongst ACC freshmen, Williams ranks first in scoring – TDs (8.7 points/game), second in rushing yards per game (100.1) and second in all-purpose yards (126.2/game).
Williams ranks in the Top 10 overall among all FBS players in rushing yards (seventh), rushing touchdowns (T-eighth) and total touchdowns (T-eighth). He ranks third in the ACC in rushing yards per game, fourth in scoring – TDs and sixth in all-purpose yards.
Of the Top 10 rushers in the ACC, which includes Williams, the Irish have faced five: Louisville’s Javian Hawkins, North Carolina’s Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Duke’s Mataeo Durant. Notre Dame’s defense has limited those five Top-10 running backs to an average of 34.2 yards (171 yards total on 57 carries) and just one total touchdown among the five. None of those backs accumulated more than 57 rushing yards. Hawkins, who leads the ACC with 102.8 rushing yards per game, was held to just 51 at Notre Dame. By comparison, against those four teams, Williams has averaged 125.8 yards (503 yards total on 90 carries), with a total of eight touchdowns.
Williams and Mayer join four other Notre Dame players, six total, in the past two seasons to be named to the watch list. Punter Jay Bramblett, defensive lineman Jacob Lacey and offensive lineman Jarrett Patterson made the initial list in 2019, and safety Kyle Hamilton was included in the 2019 midseason list. Hamilton was selected to the 2019 FWAA Freshman All-American Team.