It was one of the first questions scouts asked about Boston College running back Andre Williams: How in the world did he carry the football 355 times last season without catching even one? Yet, there it is on his stat line, just a few digits away from his school-record 2,177 rushing yards -- a zero in the receptions column.
Williams knew he needed some help, and he got it in time for his pro day performance this week. He enlisted the help of sports psychologist Bill Thierfelder, who worked with him on his approach and focus. He picked up juggling at the behest of a scout. Then, he spent three days at Boston College before pro day working on his pass-catching. Specifically, he focused on seven routes he knew he'd be asked to run.
Williams' dead-on assessment of his situation couldn't have been more to the point: "My body is a business at this point."
The result? Williams improved significantly, according to the MMQB report, dropping just one pass on pro day and showing more of a comfort level as a receiver.
"He did well catching," one scout said. "That's not going to hinder anything."
For Williams, who plays a devalued position where the NFL draft is concerned, anything to get an edge over another running back is important -- too many picks between running backs go off the board for it not to be. The absence of game film of Williams as a receiver has to remain an overriding factor in his evaluation, but after pro day, he at least might have softened concerns, along with his hands.