LOGAN – By any reasonable account Utah State University kick returner Kerwynn Williams was the recipient of the short end of the stick when the All-WAC teams were announced on Monday. Williams set the NCAA record for kick return yards in a season with 1,444 yards yet was deemed not one of the best two kick returners in the conference. The kick returners who were selected to the All-WAC teams were Louisiana Tech’s Phillip Livas and New Mexico State’s Taveon Rogers.
“The two kids that are there, are very good,” USU head football coach Gary Andersen said. “Livas has been in the league a long time and he is very good and a good first-team selection, and Rogers is very good. The two kids that got the recognition are good and I understand that and I get it. I like those guys.”
Andersen is not just giving the political answer; both Livas and Rogers had great seasons, just not as good as Williams’. Livas had 35 kick returns for 862 yards (average 24.6 yards) with one kick return TD. Livas also returns punts for the Bulldogs and had 12 returns for 186 yards with a punt return TD as well.
Livas, a senior, had a great career for the Bulldogs, registering eight return TDs during his four-year career at Louisiana Tech and is second on the all-time WAC kick return yardage list. First place on the WAC kick return yardage list? That would be Kerwynn Williams, with 2,575 yards in just two seasons.
Rogers had an excellent season as well. He had 52 kick returns for 1,410 yards (27.1 average). In comparison Williams got his 1,444 yards on 53 attempts (27.2 average). With no discernible differences in their statistics it is puzzling to see why Rogers got the nod over Williams and his NCAA record.
Williams, to his credit, is not worried about the award and is going to continue to let his play do the talking for him.
“I feel like with the voting system, everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Williams said. “I can’t really go against how anyone voted; the only way I can change their minds is by playing football. I can’t dwell on something that I have no control over, so I’m not going to run home and cry about not being on the list. I’m just going to keep working hard and keep playing football.”
When Williams was asked if he would use this year’s snub as motivation for next season, Williams maintained his humble demeanor.
“It’s always motivation for me to be the best at my position as well as the best at anything that I do. That is something that I have always been taught and something that I am always working to accomplish. My dad always told me if I was going to do something that I might as well be good at it.”
Williams’ father should be proud because his son is one of the best at his job in the country and will be one of the many reasons to be excited about Utah State football next year.
Kraig is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be reached at DesNewsKraig@gmail.com or followed on Twitter at DesNewsKraig.