Cadillac Williams is still going crazy.
Williams hasn't slowed down this offseason, developing what should be a strong RB room — and landing yet another blue-chip recruit.
Cadillac Williams (Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics)
Cadillac Williams is having fun.
Four months ago, Williams reenergized Auburn football in a memorable November as the Tigers’ interim head coach. Auburn’s leadership opted to hire Hugh Freeze to fill the full-time role, but Williams still decided to remain at his alma mater as the running backs coach and associate head coach.
You won’t hear any complaints from Williams about how things are going, now that he’s back in an assistant role.
“Man, honestly, it’s been fun,” Williams said last month. “You know, it’s been fun for me to be able to go in schools, with the way we finished up (2022) — the way the team finished — along with hiring Coach Freeze and just his vision for this program, this team, coaches. Man, it feels good to go into schools and be able to confidently say that we’re on the horizon where we’re about to turn this thing around, get back to our winning ways and get back to that Auburn football.
“I’ve been excited… just trying to help us get to that Georgia, ‘Bama level.”
And why wouldn’t Williams be having fun right now?
Even with the departure of Tank Bigsby to the NFL, the running back room that he’s built and developed looks like the biggest strength of the Tigers’ offense in 2023. And it took him less than two whole months after the end of the 2023 recruiting cycle to get an ace running back for 2024.
Meet J’Marion Burnette. He goes by the nickname “Phat.”
Last Friday morning, Burnette announced his commitment to Auburn. Burnette, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 10 back for the 2024 class, is fresh off of winning a Class 4A Alabama state championship at Andalusia.
At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, “Phat” is naturally a powerful runner. He says he doesn’t like “to do all the juking” and prefers “running over people for real,” garnering stylistic comparisons to a smaller version of Derrick Henry. When he gets into the open field, he has more than enough speed to hurt defenses.
As friend of the newsletter Christian Clemente wrote at Auburn247, Williams made a scholarship offer to Burnette last April. And, as the big back put together a strong junior season at Andalusia — in which he averaged nearly 134 yards per game and eight yards per carry — he increasingly became an Auburn lean.
“Coach Caddy is amazing,” Burnette told Clemente. “He’s been going out of the way since Auburn first offered me a year ago. He’s just been keeping up with me nonstop. … I think Coach Caddy can get me to the league. I think he can put me where I want to be.”
And it’s easy to see why Burnette has all that confidence in Williams. It’s taken no time for Williams to establish himself as one of the best running back coaches and recruiters in the entire country.