Marquise Williams and the Davey O’Brien Trophy


North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams was named to the Davey O’Brien Trophy watch list last week. Williams was one of twenty-four quarterbacks selected for the list. That makes him among select company. In fact the company was so select that did not include State quarterback Jacoby Brissett. That may be an oversight on the part of the people who run the O’Brien Award, but let’s look at who they did include.

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Marquise Williams is coming out of a difficult season where he was tested from beginning to end. In the beginning of the year, it seemed like they giving were redshirt freshman quarterback Mitch Trubisky to take away the job from him. The Tar Heels kept a platoon system going too long, ignoring that the mobile Williams was the better option behind a challenged offensive line. The platoon system also broke Williams’ rhythm and the offense’s rhythm as a result.

If he was not fighting for his job, Williams was watching his backfield fall apart on him. He started the season with four running backs and injuries often limited that group to much fewer. The result was that Williams was the leading rusher for the team last year.

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The results were that Williams threw for over three thousand yards and ran for almost eight hundred more. He scored twenty seven total touchdowns on the year. It became his team and many times he was forced to be all everything. He was not perfect, still sailing balls high on occasion and finding opposing defenses nine times for interceptions.

The hope for the Tar Heels is that Williams will not have to do it all this year. That could mean that his total numbers from this year will go down while he has a better year overall. Particularly those rushing numbers should decrease as both running backs and offensive line should be improved this year. So the irony is that Williams may have a better senior year, but one that will keep him out of contention for the Davey O’Brien.

Next: Lombardi Watch List