A prospect who started making a name for himself in the camp circuit over the summer was Cherry Hill (N.J.) West defensive back Rodney Williams. His performance at Syracuse's camp in July resulted in an offer and a commitment shortly thereafter.
As he put the recruiting process behind him, Williams focused on his senior season with the goal of getting his team to the playoffs for the first time. Everything was going according to plan until he suffered a broken fibula during his game over the weekend.
"I injured it on Saturday," Williams said. "I think I bruised a couple of bones in my leg the week before. I played through it because we were losing. It was a really close game and we needed to pull out the w. It's my last year and my team hasn't been to the playoffs yet. This year we're 4-1 so we have a pretty good chance based on what we're doing. We're one of the top teams in our group. I had to help them get the win.
"It made it worse but I thought I could play through it. I didn't practice all week. Then on Friday during our walkthrough, not full speed but I practiced that day. On Saturday I felt like it was just bruising I could play through. I was having a good game. I had two touchdowns and got an interception. Early in the second quarter I broke a run for about 30-yards.
"One I got to the five yard line, I collapsed," Williams continued. "I thought I got kicked in the leg, that's how bad it hurt. I was thinking I got kicked when I fell. I dropped down and took my helmet off. I was like, ‘this can't be happening.' I took a deep breath and waited for my coach and trainer to come out. I just thought it got kicked and it was just bruised and I'd be able to come back. I went to the hospital Sunday morning and I had a broken bone."
Understandably, the three star safety prospect was saddened by the news.
"I'm still not trying to think about it," Williams said. "I'm sure it'll hit me at some point. It's very disappointing. My team definitely needs me being the leader and captain on the team. I'm definitely going to do everything I can to keep them going and playing hard and strong. We're obviously playing very well. As long as they can get the job done, that'll be the best medicine for my leg."
Shortly after receiving the news about his injury on Sunday, he spoke with Syracuse defensive line coach Tim Daoust.
"I talked to coach Daoust on Sunday," Williams said. "He just told me to get healthy. Everything like that. He knows I was playing very well this season, which he expected of me. He said just to get healthy. I'll probably be able to come back for a playoff game or thanksgiving game this year. I'm just taking it one day at a time."
As far as rehab goes, Williams will not need surgery. It is simply a matter of time so that the bone can heal properly. He is hopeful he will be able to return before the end of the season.
"I'm meeting with the orthopedic," Williams said. "He said he believes I don't need an actual cast. He'll give me something along the lines of what I'm wearing right now. Kind of a brace type of thing. I'm going to see him and he'll let me know everything I need to do to get back on the field this year."