Pooka Williams Jr.
Career Honors: 2019: Preseason All-Big 12 First Team (Athlon). 2018: Freshman All-America all purpose (FWAA, The Athletic); All-America Second Team all-purpose (FWAA); Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year (coaches); All-Big 12 First Team running back (coaches); All-Big 12 First Team all purpose (coaches, AP); Big 12 Newcomer of the Year (AP); All-Big 12 Second Team running back (AP); Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Nov. 19); Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Oct. 29); Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll (Oct. 29); Midseason True Freshman of the Year by The Athletic; ESPN Midseason Freshman All-American; Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week (Oct. 1); ESPN True Freshman of the Week (Sept. 10); Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Sept. 10).
2019 (So.): Oklahoma: Gained 137 net yards on the ground with a new career-high 23 carries for the Crimson and Blue … His long rush was good for 36 yards and he averaged 6.0 yards per carry on the afternoon … Also caught five passes for a total of 20 yards … Led the Jayhawks in all-purpose yards against the Sooners with 157 … at TCU: Made his first receiving touchdown of the season when connecting with quarterback Carter Stanley for a 25-yard catch late in the fourth quarter … On the day, hauled in three catches for a total of 33 yards … Also carried the ball eight times for a net gain of 12 yards … West Virginia: Led the Jayhawks on the ground, carrying the ball 15 times for a net gain of 76 yards … at Boston College: Matched his career high with 22 carries in Chestnut Hill … Gained a total of 121 yards on the night, the fifth 100+ yards game of his Kansas career … Also caught a pair of passes for two yards … Coastal Carolina: Made his season debut against the Chanticleers … Carried the ball a career-high 22 times for a total of 99 yards … Also caught two passes from quarterback Carter Stanley for 10 yards total, with a long catch of seven yards.
2018 (Fr.): Rushed for a total of 1,125 yards on 161 carries, good for 102.3 yards per game, 7.0 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns … Added 289 yards and two scores on 33 receptions and 246 yards on 11 kick returns to lead the Big 12 and rank sixth in the FBS in all-purpose yards at 150.9 per game … One of two players in the Big 12 Conference to record a 100-yard rushing game (4) and a 100-yard receiving game (1) joining TCU’s Jalen Reagor … Also one of only two players in the league to score a touchdown by way of passing, rushing and receiving in 2018 joining Texas’ Lil’ Jordan Humphrey … One of just three true freshman in Big 12 history to accomplish the feat … His 1,125 rushing yards tie him for eighth place in KU’s single-season history books, ranking him second among Jayhawk freshmen on that list … His 16.8 yards per carry against Oklahoma was both a Big 12 Conference and Kansas record for a game with a minimum of 15 carries … His 1,660 all-purpose yards rank third on KU’s single-season list … Tabbed the Big 12 Conference’s Newcomer of the Week on four occasions during the 2018 season … One of just two Jayhawk running backs to be tabbed All-Big 12 First Team, joining Jon Cornish (2006) … Also one of just two Kansas returners to earn All-Big 12 First Team accolades, joining Charles Gordon (2005) … At Central Michigan: Made his collegiate debut with a start at running back … Ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries … Also caught one pass for eight yards … Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for his efforts … Rutgers: Became the first freshman in KU history to open their career with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games after collecting 158 yards and one TD on 18 carries against the Scarlet Knights … Recorded a then-career-long 52-yard scoring run … Added one reception for five yards … at Baylor: Ran for 89 yards, including a career-long rush of 72 yards … Caught one pass for five yards … Oklahoma State: Rushed for 97 yards and a score on 17 carries … His touchdown run of 60 yards marked his longest scoring rush of his career … Recorded six receptions for 60 yards … at West Virginia: Carried the ball 12 times for 65 yards … Caught three passes for 16 yards … at Texas Tech: Rushed for 81 yards and caught three balls for 26 yards … TCU: Scored two touchdowns off 102 yards receiving on seven receptions … Rushed for 33 yards … Iowa State: Ran the ball 17 times for 58 yards … Reeled in six receptions for 42 yards … at Kansas State: Ran the ball 14 times for 59 yards in his first Sunflower Showdown … at Oklahoma: Earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after rushing for 252 yards and two touchdowns, a KU freshman record and sixth all-time in Kansas football history … Had 18 yards receiving on three receptions … Threw his first pass of the season, completing a nine-yard touchdown to Jeremiah Booker … Texas: Rushed for 113 yards on 10 attempts to complete a record-setting freshman season.
High School: Touted as a four-star recruit and the 15th-best player in the state of Louisiana according to ESPN.com … Rated a three-star recruit, the 11th-best all-purpose back in the country and the 16th-rated player in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.com … Also a three-star player according to 247Sports.com … Played for head coach Dominic Saltaformaggio at Hahnville HS … Led HHS to the Louisiana Class 5A state title game in 2017, rushing for 210 yards and a touchdown, against Zachary HS … Registered 3,118 rushing yards with 37 touchdowns as a senior … Collected nearly 1,400 yards and 14 scores in Hahnville’s five-game playoff run … Selected as the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance/Louisiana Sports Writers Association Mr. Football for the 2017 season … Named New Orleans Metro Player of the Year by the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club … Earned a spot on the New Orleans Times-Picayune 2017-18 All-Metro Top 25 Male Athletes of the Year list.
Personal: Son of Angelique and Anthony Williams Sr. … Full name is Anthony Williams Jr. … Plans to major in sport management … Chose Kansas over offers from LSU, Mississippi State, Memphis, Nebraska, TCU, UCLA, Tulane and Louisiana Tech.