116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR FALLS — Much like its room of quarterbacks, Northern Iowa’s football team added depth to its group of running backs this offseason.
Upperclassmen Tyler Hoosman and Dom Williams shouldered the majority of the Panthers workload on the ground this spring, gaining 618 of the team’s 724 rushing yards.
The duo returns this fall and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson had high praise for the pair of ball carriers.
“Dom had a heck of a year for us and proved to be a really good back in all phases,” Watson said. “He’s as good of a pass protector as he is a runner. Tyler, he’s a tough, smart kid. Dependable and he plays like that for us.”
Along with the promise of Hoosman and Williams’ return, Watson’s optimism is bolstered by what he’s seen from the Panthers offensive line.
“We have got a really fine offensive line that we’re developing,” Watson said. “Ryan Clanton is doing a great job with those guys.”
Fresh faces in UNI’s running backs room include freshman Terrance Kamara, an early enrollee who was ineligible to play this spring as a result. As a junior at North Senior High School in Minneapolis, he led the state with 2,369 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns and was the No. 12 overall recruit in Minnesota in 2021.
Another freshman who could contend for immediate playing time is West Des Moines Valley standout Jayden Williams. UNI landed the three-star prospect after he decommitted from Kansas State last November.
Williams ran for 452 yards as a senior as he battled a lingering injury. As a junior, he ran for 1,043 yards and 12 touchdowns. His father, Darian Williams, played running back for UNI from 2006-07.
Along with Kamara and Williams, Saint Xavier transfer Vance McShane is another intriguing talent who has been added to the mix. A brother of UNI wide receiver Deion McShane, Vance starred for the NAIA Cougars the past two seasons, highlighted by 1,413 all-purpose yards in 2019.
UNI has a trio of returnees who also will be competing for carries.
Jaylin Richardson redshirted this spring after being a highly-regarded 2019 signee. Nick McCabe has limited experience in the backfield, but has become a special teams contributor. There’s also former Waterloo East standout Kendall Robinson, who Coach Mark Farley has previously been complimentary of.