The Bullis School football team has won two Interstate Athletic Conference football championships in three seasons, finishing 9-1 a year ago while winning the crown.
The Bulldogs' only loss came in the season opener against one of the top Washington Catholic Athletic Conference schools, St. John's College High School, when many of its top players were out with injuries.
Not good enough, says rising senior running back Devonte Williams.
The goal at the Potomac school for 2014 is to win a third IAC title in four years and do so with a perfect record.
“This year we're trying to go 10-0,” Williams said. “I think this is the perfect timing to do it because we're loaded this year. We have Jonathan Holland, Dwayne Haskins Jr., Craig [Williams], Brian Latham. So we should be pretty well-off this year. Hopefully we can finally go 10-0 this year [for the] first time in school history.”
If they do it, Williams will no doubt play a large role. He followed up a strong sophomore where he rushed for about 1,200 yards with a better junior year: 1,535 yards and 23 touchdowns.
He averaged 7.8 yards per carry in 2013 and was also a threat in the return game, returning four punts for touchdowns.
This year, as a proven playmaker and a three-star recruit, according to Scout.com, Williams said he expects to be able to show another side of his game.
“We're going to run a spread offense, something like West Virginia,” Williams said. “So I'm going to be the 'X' [split end] receiver sometimes this year. And I'm also going to be in the backfield. So, I just pride myself on being versatile and utilizing my skill set in open space.”
As a freshman, Williams played slot receiver. While it isn't the same as catching passes from the outside, his versatility makes him a threat from anywhere on the field.
He said that the change in offensive philosophy will help his quarterback, the heavily-recruited Haskins, show his abilities. But with the rushing prowess of Williams already known, he can benefit from a different look as well.
“When the big shoes come to the games, they can see how I'm able to be used,” he said.
“His football IQ is off the charts,” Bullis coach Pat Cilento said. “He just does a great job of everything he does, whether it's catching the ball out of the backfield, lining up in the slot ...
“Last year, we were more of an I-[formation] team. This year I see us being more of a spread team and him getting even more touches out on the perimeter.”
Williams has drawn interest from several colleges and said he has narrowed his decision down to Indiana and Old Dominion. He said he'll likely make a decision in the middle of this season. He also said he thinks Arizona State is going to extend a scholarship offer.
“I'm just taking my time in the process because that's what everybody has been telling me. Not to rush,” Williams said.
This summer, he's been working on running crisper routes and doing it faster.
Hudl.com lists Williams with a 40-yard-dash time of 4.5 seconds. He's worked with speed trainer Adam Wooten in Ashburn, Va., to bring that number down. He also trained in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his uncle, Omar Evans, who graduated from Springbrook in 1995 and played six seasons in the Canadian Football League. While in Scottsdale, Williams ran routes with NFL stars such as Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens and Ryan Clark of the Washington Redskins. Both are clients of his uncle's training program.
“Speed, speed. Bigger, faster, stronger,” Williams said.