BOSTON -- Former Boston College running back Andre Williams burst onto the scene last season, becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist. Now, he's hoping he impressed NFL scouts with a faster 40-yard dash than he had last month at the scouting combine.
Williams and about a dozen other Eagles prospects were part of the school's pro day Wednesday under a temporary bubble at Alumni Stadium.
Williams, the Doak Walker winner who set the school's single-season rushing records with 2,177 yards on 355 carries, wanted to show NFL scouts that his workouts are paying off.
"Today, for me, I really wanted to improve on my 40 and just perform better at catching the ball," he said. "I think I did very well on both of those, and it was a good day for me."
The 6-foot, 227-pound back is a punishing runner with a burst of speed.
"Obviously, what I've said all along is he's a tremendous kid, high caliber, a good guy and a BC graduate. A tremendous worker on the field," BC coach Steve Addazio said. "A lot of NFL teams are looking for big, strong running backs, first- and second-down running backs that can pass protect. He's tremendous in pass protection and can stop a linebacker on a dime. He can get that 4-yard carry for you and he has home run hitting capability, and I think that's what makes him very attractive."
Williams said the scouts told him he improved on his 40 from last month. He said his time was 4.56 seconds in front of the scouts in Indianapolis.
"I don't have any official times, but they told me I did better than I did at the combine," he said. "They gave me times, but I'm not really trying to put them out there."
He seemed to run it a few more times than a number of his former BC teammates.
"I ran it a few times," he said, breaking into a smile. "One time just because I wasn't doing everything today."
Williams thinks he can fit into any NFL-style offense.
"Running back is such a versatile position. I know I'm going to have a role to play when I get to the league," he said. "I'm a power back that has a unique combination of speed and size."
Also on hand were quarterback Chase Rettig, offensive linemen Matt Patchan and Ian White, receiver Alex Amidon, linebackers Steele Divitto and Kevin Pierre-Louis, and kicker Nate Freese, the school's all-time leading scorer. Amidon owns school records for receiving yardage in a season, as well as most receptions and receiving yards in a career.
Freese nailed a kick from 60 yards in front of the scouts. He was a perfect 20-for-20 on field goal attempts last season.