Alabama Football News

Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams fit the mold of great Alabama running backs

Jase McClellan runs for an Alabama touchdown versus Kentucky
Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports

Alabama football has a new thunder and lighting in its offensive backfield for years to come.

Fans of the Crimson Tide were excited to get a glimpse of true freshmen running backs Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan, and they were treated to a bright future at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Both players were four-star prospects from their respective high schools in this year’s class. Nick Saban stated this week on how Williams and McClellan are complete players and both athletes had their talents on display versus Kentucky. Despite the duo seeing action in the fourth quarter, McClellan got the first nod with the offensive line. He showed power, speed, balance and shiftiness to bounce runs outside against the Wildcats.

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The native Texan finished as the Tide’s leading rusher, totaling 99 yards on 10 carries.

He averaged 9.9 yards per rush, including a long run of 23 yards. McClellan put the punctuation mark on his performance with a 19-yard touchdown run late in regulation. His first career collegiate score gave Alabama a 63-3 lead over Kentucky, and it ultimately won by that outcome. During the bye week and second off week for the Tide, respectable sources told yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine that McClellan had emerged as the No. 3 option at running back with Trey Sanders out.

He stepped up in a huge way and will see his opportunities increase.

Roydell Williams running through a Kentucky defender

Nov 21, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Kentucky Wildcats defensive back Yusuf Corker (29) stops Alabama Crimson Tide running back Roydell Williams (23) short of the goal line at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports

As for Williams, he provided power, a spin move and cutback abilities on his runs. He punched in a 2-yard score in the fourth quarter, while his longest run was 11 yards. Williams finished with 30 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Coach Saban has mentored a few great duos at running back, including Glenn Coffee/Mark Ingram, Ingram/Trent Richardson, Richardson/Eddie Lacy, Lacy/T.J. Yeldon and Yeldon/Derrick Henry. Within these duos, Alabama also had a combination of Kenyan Drake, Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs mixed in.

It appears that Saban has found his next one, two punch with Willams and McClellan.

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Both guys are looking forward to helping the Tide defeat the Auburn Tigers next week.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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