We’ve all heard the reports by now — Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is coming to Auburn to take over the vacant running backs coach spot on the staff. Before we get any further, let me just...
I was 14 when that happened, and let me tell you... Cadillac Williams was a god. He and Ronnie Brown together in the same backfield was absolutely unfair, but Williams was the original. His moments as a freshman and sophomore led into a fantastic junior season during which he tied Bo Jackson’s record (since broken by Cam Newton) for rushing touchdowns in a season. He still stands as the second-place career rusher in Auburn history, and has the most rushing touchdowns by a Tiger as well.
Since leaving the NFL, Cadillac served in a couple of different coaching roles — first as a graduate assistant at West Georgia in 2016, then as running backs coach at IMG Academy in 2017, and he was due to be the running backs coach for the newly-created Birmingham Iron of the Alliance for American Football when the league began next month. Under his care, the Iron had former collegiate stars Trent Richardson (Alabama), Ty Isaac (Michigan), and LaDarius Perkins (Mississippi State).
Now, he comes back home to Auburn.
Since Gus Malzahn moved Tim Horton to an off-field role, there was speculation as to why exactly the change was made.
I should rephrase...several coaches know why Gus did it; none of them agree with his thinking. https://t.co/F0fy8MhQng— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 23, 2019
Horton was a good recruiter, and Auburn’s running backs weren’t truly a team deficiency, but there’s no doubt that the run game suffered a bit this year. Whether that’s Horton’s fault or not apparently doesn’t matter at this point. What is evident is that there are recruits coming along now that were small children when Cadillac Williams was the preeminent tailback in the SEC (and maybe the country) during his time at Auburn. Many of the recruits that will sign with Auburn in 2020 were born in either 2002 or 2003, and so his playing career may have come just before they were really paying attention.
On the surface, this could appear to be a hire predicated on Williams’ fame. That alone might help out in the tailback recruiting game, where Auburn is facing off directly with Alabama, who signed the top tailback in the country, and Georgia, who’s riding the wave of glory that two former tailbacks in the upcoming Super Bowl will produce. Maybe Williams’ notoriety as a former superstar and top draft pick will help in the recruiting game. Auburn certainly needs all the help they can get in that area with the burgeoning star destroyers on each border.
Either way, as someone whose Auburn fandom really blossomed during the time that Cadillac Williams was carrying the ball, this is a fun hire. Let’s hope that it’s a productive and smart hire as well. We won’t know for sure until August 31st in Arlington.