There may not have been anyone more excited than Ty'Son Williams at South Carolina's annual Garnet and Black spring game on April 1.
When the tailback stepped onto the field with his teammates, it was the first time since November of 2015 that Williams was participating in a football game. Sure, it was just a spring game, but it was the first major step back for Williams.
"It felt good just to get back into the swing of things," Williams said afterward. "Overall just trying to get comfortable with the offense."
A native of Sumter, Williams began his collegiate career at North Carolina. However, after a freshman year that featured just 19 carries for 57 yards, he decided to transfer to the home state Gamecocks.
Williams impressed his South Carolina teammates during his redshirt year last season with his physicality and athleticism. That was on full display during the spring game.
Williams was the Gamecocks' leading rusher with 11 carries for 83 yards. His versatility was on display as well as he hauled in three receptions for 30 more yards.
"I think he had a really good spring camp," head coach Will Muschamp said of Williams. "I think you see the similar running styles, a one cut violent runner, north and south with his pads. He hasn't played football in a very long time as far as tackle football. Very pleased with his great work ethic, great attitude and (he's a) very talented player."
Perhaps the biggest moment during the spring game came on a fourth down near the goal line. The Black team decided to go for it, and quarterback Jake Bentley handed it to Williams, who plunged in for a four-yard touchdown run.
Williams' quarterback was pumped up after that play, and is excited to see more out of him in the fall.
"He's a very explosive runner," Bentley said of Williams. "He runs very angry. He's a good complement to Rico (Dowdle). Both of those guys are special players."
With spring practice behind him, Williams is as excited as ever for the fall. This time last year he was facing the daunting task of sitting out for an entire year. It's a tough journey for any player.
"It was very hard, but I think the thing that made it easier was my teammates always lifting me up," Williams said.
Williams impressed those teammates during his redshirt year, and he, along with Dowdle and A.J. Turner, will give South Carolina a fearsome three-headed rushing attack in 2017. The Garnet and Black spring game gave fans a glimpse of what the 6-foot, 209-pound runner is capable of.
"That's always important," Williams said. "You want to go out there and do the best you can. But more importantly I just wanted to show the fans what I could do and show myself what I could do."