Through eight games in 2013, Kasen Williams had seen his production drop off substantially from his sophomore year after the shift in the offense put more emphasis on the running game and quick passes to slot receivers. His catches per game dropped from 5.9 to 3.7 and he he caught just one touchdown compared to six each of the previous seasons. It was certainly not the season he -- or anyone -- had envisioned.
And then, Williams suffered a brutal leg injury which ended his season. Williams had his junior campaign cut short and his career put in jeopardy, but his surgery went well and he hit rehab hard, and now he's ready to bounce back.
A healthy Kasen Williams is UW's most talented skill position player. His size/athleticism/strength combination makes him a major pain for defensive backs to cover, but where he's most special is when he gets the ball in his hands. He's simply too much for college DB's to take down on first contact. After he catches the ball he goes over, around, and through defenders until they can gang up on him and bring him down, much like an elephant resisting being taken down by lions.
How will Williams respond to his injury is the question on everybody's mind. Whatever percent he says he's at, I'm of the mind that once he gets out on the field on Saturday the adrenaline, muscle memory, instincts, and talent will take over and he'll step right back in without missing a beat. An early target and catch on the first drive would probably go a long way in helping things too -- a bubble, a quick hitch, or a slant, anything to get him off the schneid and into the game.
The swan song for Kasen Williams has the potential to be a big season. There are questions, sure, but the talent he has is undeniable, and if he plays with a chip on his shoulder like he should there aren't many corners in the country who stand a chance.