Trainer: Hard work and patience has paid off for Clemson 2022 RB target

Trainer: Hard work and patience has paid off for Clemson 2022 RB target

Recruiting

Trainer: Hard work and patience has paid off for Clemson 2022 RB target

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Brandon Williams put Andrew Pual through the ringer, working with him every step of his career.

Williams, who trains the three-star running back at FASST Performance & Fitness has done so for the past three and a half years. He’s worked every step of the way with the Parish Episcopal School (Dallas, TX.) product.

Paul knew that he was going to have to wait his turn, but Williams made sure to tell him that whatever comes his way is nothing but blessings. That patience has persisted and it’s evident in how his recruitment has played out recently.

Williams remembers Clemson talking to Paul that they were gonna offer him a little bit later on — the Tigers offered him on Thursday, Jan. 6 — and they preached patience in their own process. Since then, he’s also picked up an offer from Notre Dame.

“I told him to just be patient and not worry about anything else,” Williams told The Clemson Insider. “I told him to just let things play out because he deserves the opportunity…all these offers man, is awesome. Clemson’s offer is amazing. He’s definitely excited.”

Williams recalled earlier last month when Clemson running backs coach C.J. Spiller stayed for Paul’s entire state playoff game.

“That showed me not just the value, but the perception that I got from C.J. standing there the entire time just tells me where their relationship is with Andrew,” Williams said. ‘“Hey, this young man is what we want.’ It’s been amazing to see all those things, especially the respect level.”

Having a College Football Hall of Famer scout his playoff games from the sidelines didn’t happen overnight for Paul.

He put the necessary work in and did so day in and day out. Paul would come in to train with Williams every Saturday after a game. That’s right, every Saturday after a game. It didn’t matter what it was. He always showed up.

Williams always tells people to go back to Paul’s freshman season of high school and compare it to where he is now. He got to Paul his mid-freshman year, that’s when he was first introduced to him. 

He’ll never forget one of their first interactions.

“When I first met him, I remember watching his film and I said, ‘Hmm, you’re OK,’ Williams recalls. “He looked at me and said, ‘Wait, what?’”

Williams’ credentials speak for themselves. 

He graduated from Plano Senior High School in 2004 and played football at Navarro College as a true freshman. While that marked the end of his football career, he has since worked with student-athletes like Paul ever since.

He counts athletes like Los Angeles Rams starting offensive guard Joseph Noteboom, Baltimore Ravens defensive back Brandon Stephens and SMU defensive lineman Kadaris Smith, as players he helped develop.

Williams was honest with Paul about his future prospects at the running back position. He told Paul that he can’t sit there and run over people. That wasn’t gonna work. He was going to need to make people miss. 

“You want people to believe in you? Make people miss,” Williams said regarding his message to Paul. “Hit off of contact and keep on rolling. Hitting people and looking for contact ain’t gonna work. This is not fullback. You want to play fullback? Then go play linebacker.”

When Paul got to his sophomore year, he started to make people miss and earn the respect of others. He had other schools asking them to transfer to their respective programs in the middle of the season; they were that impressed with his progress.

Williams could already see a wholesale change in the running back and knew he was special because he’d seen it with his own eyes. 

“It took it to a whole different level,” Williams said. “When it came to quarantine time, we worked every other day. I kid you not, every other day. We did not stop.”

Williams challenged Paul that if he wanted to have it, he was going to have to come and take it.

Paul accepted that challenge. All the proof you need is in his senior year film.

Turn on the tape and you’ll watch Paul rushing for 2,612 yards and scoring 41 touchdowns as a senior at Parish.

That’s because he was willing to put in the work. As he waited for his turn to showcase his abilities, Paul remained patient and worked in silence. 

“He’s a very wholesome guy,” Williams said. “He’s very, very determined. He’s always been thinking like he’s on a mission. I’ll say this — a lot of people say class act — but he really is a class act. He’s a great kid. I’ll say that because I know his mom and dad. I know them personally and have been around [Andrew] for three and a half years, so there’s a lot of growth there. On and off the field, he’s an impact-type guy. He shows by his leadership and not just by being verbal, but more by his actions.”

Waiting for his turn has never been an issue for Paul and if he does end up making Clemson his next home, he’ll arrive in a running back room that already has the likes of Will Shipley, Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah in it.

That won’t be a problem for Paul, though. He’ll wait.

“He’s a very humble kid,” Williams said. “He’s willing to learn the things he’s got to learn and pick them up. He’ll take his time. We’ve been talking about that for years, if you’re able to redshirt your freshman year, make it so you can learn your program and get your classes together. We also talked about not just your four years, let’s talk about getting your 60 years. Focus on those things, those values. 

“Be a student-athlete, not just an athlete. He understands that value very, very well. He’s not in a rush. He’s going to rise to the occasion when it comes his way but earn that opportunity. He’s willing to be patient at everything.”

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