🎙 The Jayhawker Podcast | Pooka Williams Jr.

Episode 34: Pooka Williams | September 3, 2020

Pooka Williams Jr. needs no introduction to Jayhawk fans.

The talented and electrifying running back has already established himself as one of the best in Kansas history, becoming just the second Jayhawk to rush for more than 2,000 yards in his first two seasons. And in his eyes, he’s just getting started.

This week on The Jayhawker Podcast we bring you the story of a four-star prospect from the New Orleans area who has taken Jayhawk Nation by storm.

In 2017, Williams Jr. capped off a prolific high school career by being named “Mr. Football” in Louisiana – the top player in the state. He also led Hahnville High School to the state title game and racked up over 3,100 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns along the way. Schools like LSU, Nebraska and Mississippi State all came calling, but in the end, Pooka wanted to be a Jayhawk.

“Kansas came in and stayed,” recalled Williams of why he chose Kansas. “The (other) people who came in, they like shot the offer out and then disappeared.”

Williams Jr. elaborated on why he honored his commitment to Kansas, one that came during his junior year in high school.

“I felt like they were family,” described Williams Jr. “They didn’t lie to me. They didn’t sugar coat anything. They told me straight forward.”

Pooka has repaid KU’s faith in him by posting numbers his first two seasons that Jayhawk fans haven’t seen since the days of Gale Sayers.

After a breakout rookie campaign in 2018 that included Freshman All-American honors and 1,125 rushing yards, Pooka backed it up last season with 1,061 yards on the ground and more All-Big 12 accolades.

As incredible as his start has been, Williams feels like he has more to prove. His biggest goal for his junior year can’t be found on the stat sheet though. Pooka’s greatest ambition for 2020 will be found in the win column.

“I want to show a lot of people that we can also win games,” explained Williams Jr. “I’m not worried about me. It’s KU. (I want to show) we can win games. That’s my main goal for my third year. My focus is to win games.”

Williams Jr. plans on doing that by leading more, especially with the younger running backs behind him on the depth chart.

“Leadership is telling them when they’re wrong,” said Williams Jr. “If they mess up, next play. If they fumble or they miss the ball, next play. You have to have a short-term memory.”

Williams Jr. plans to help his teammates have just that, while also giving KU fans the excitement that makes memories for a lifetime. Hear more about Pooka’s rise to Big 12 stardom and his plans for the future on this week’s edition of “The Jayhawker Podcast.”