- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Richard Wilson lines up at running back and takes a toss right. He runs through two arm tackles then sets his sights on an undersized safety in the unenviable position of being between a 200-pound back and the goal line.
Boston College fans ought to turn to YouTube to see what the Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day running back does next. It’s reminiscent of Andre Williams trucking a poor NC State safety weeks earlier, and in nine months Eagles fans will see it again on the field, not on film.
The comparisons are welcome since Wilson and fellow Class of 2014 back Marcus Outlow (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Free Academy) will soon be saddled with the responsibility of replacing the Heisman finalist Williams.
Quite the burden to put on two three-star recruits who still have six months of high school left. But the good news for BC fans is that Outlow and Wilson are the most decorated running back recruits the Eagles have landed since rankings began in 2006 and both have been instructed to be ready to suit up in 2014.
“People want me to be the next Andre and that’s my goal,” Williams said.
“I have dreams of being a Heisman candidate one day too,” said Outlow.
Williams was living up to his two-star billing his first three seasons at Boston College. He contributed since his freshman season but never topped more than 584 yards. As a senior, Williams rushed for 2,102 yards, scored 17 touchdowns and finds himself in New York City for Saturday’s Heisman ceremony.
The difference was first-year coach Steve Addazio’s offense, said Outlow. A local New England commit since February, Outlow was able to compare BC’s old offense -- which he wanted no part of -- to the run-based attack Addazio implemented in 2013.
“It wasn’t a running back’s dream offense [in 2012],” Outlow said. “What Coach Addazio brought that hooked me is they love to run behind the tackles and pull the guards to make holes. It’s clear I made the right choice.”
Outlow expects to be used in a new role once he joins the offense. At 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds, he can run between the tackles but has some wiggle in the open field. He has several touchdown receptions to his credit, and BC’s plan is to flare him out of the backfield and even line him out wide sometimes.
As for Wilson, he said fans in Chestnut Hill should expect to see Andre 2.0 whenever the football is in his hands.
“I would say he’s more of a power back but going into college I’ll put on weight and I’ll be a power and speed back,” the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Wilson said. “In the open field we have that stride and can run past people but also run over people.”
As seniors, Outlow and Wilson combined for nearly 3,000 yards and tallied 54 rushing touchdowns. Their numbers are already Williams-like, but more important to them is they aspire to follow Williams’ example off the field as well.
“You expect someone with those credentials to be cocky, but he remains humble and grounded,” Wilson said.
Added Outlow: “He carries himself to the standard BC wants. … We’re fortunate to have had Andre.”