Photo credit: UNLV Athletics

WWJD #30: Inside UNLV Running Back Charles Williams Decision To Return



UNLV senior running back Charles Williams reached out to me so he could use  Franchise Sports Media to announce he has made a decision regarding his future at UNLV.


Photo Credit: Fresno Bee

When I first got to Las Vegas and started covering UNLV the first player I met was also a young freshman running back from Fresno, California. We hit it off immediately. Since I did sports-talk radio in Fresno for a short time, we had a connection. Our talks often involved mutual friends, missing the food at Dog House Grill, and our love for the Los Angeles Lakers.

When Charles Williams had one of the best freshman seasons in recent memory for UNLV, I couldn’t have been more proud of him. I would often see him after practice catching balls out of the JUGS machine, running extra sprints, or just putting in the extra work it takes to be successful. His sophomore season started off quick, rushing for over 100 yards against Howard University, but early in the 3rd quarter, he went down with a season-ending ankle injury.

During his junior year, Chuck was backing up Lexington Thomas as he was trying to get back to his normal self after the ankle injury. We would talk after games about the mental side of his new role and life in general. When Chuck’s grandmother passed away, I felt his pain. I know how much she means to him and is a major reason why he plays the way he plays the game. My grandmother helped raise me and means the world to me, so I could relate to his strong bond with her.


Photo Credit: 24/7 Sports

When erroneous reports of Williams possibly transferring out the past couple of offseason’s, I’d get calls from people asking if it was true. I would also talk to him about it as we would laugh about it, or he’d express his frustration as to why someone would report something that they never talked to him about, which was not only not true, but not even being considered by him?

Chuck was there for me when my son passed away this past June. He would call and text me to check in on me every few days. That is a testament to how he was raised, the type of character Charles Williams has, and the type of man he is. So when we spoke, and he told me he would be returning to UNLV and agreed to do an exclusive interview, it meant the world to me.

Williams, who is currently fourth on the Rebels All-Time rushing list with 2,940 yards,and is just 793 yards short of UNLV Rushing King Tim Cornett, who posted 3,733 from 2010-13. Williams is also tied for fifth among all Rebels with 10 career 100-yard rushing games.


Williams and UNLV issued this statement for Rebels fans, which was released on the UNLV Football website:

“After thoughtful consideration, I have decided to return for another year with UNLV football”

Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics


Chuck and UNLV agreed to allow me an exclusive interview to talk about what went into Williams’ decision to return. Here is my interview with Chuck.


When did you come to the decision to return to UNLV and play your COVID senior season?

I came to this decision last week. Just gave myself some time to evaluate my options. 


What were some of the things you considered when deciding to return to UNLV or leave for the NFL?

The things I was considering were my health and if coming back was the right choice. Was using the extra year the right choice? 


Who was a part of your decision-making process, and how did they feel about your decision?

My family was apart of the decision, they were helping me the whole time. 


What did Coach Arroyo tell you, or what advice did he give you while you were making your decision?

Coach Arroyo told me that this year was rough and if I came back the experience would be better because now we got year 1 down and can kick it into the next gear. He also told me I could give myself the opportunity to do some great things this year and develop my game more. I trust what he told me since he’s coached other players who have been drafted and went to the NFL.


What do you want to improve on from last year?

What I want to improve on this year is breaking down this offense and knowing the playbook like the back of my hand and to be better in the passing game.


How difficult was playing through COVID for you? 

Playing through COVID was tough, but as the season went along you only started to worry about the real agenda which was football. 


How did that (COVID) affect the transition to Coach Arroyo from the previous staff?

Covid affected Coach Arroyo by having to deal with opt outs, the restrictions we had set in place at first, roster being depleted at times but he never panicked and found the solution to every problem.


Did you consider opting out of the season, or was “all gas, no f’ing breaks” for you in 2020?

Never considered opting out because once you start something you finish. That was what I was taught.


Was the revolving roster difficult to deal with?

The revolving roster was difficult at times but you had to go out there and roll with the players you had sometimes. What was tough was practicing and a day or two before the game having it canceled. That’s just life though. 


What is it about Coach Arroyo that has all the Rebels players all in? 

Coach Arroyo has made it to where this program is not built for just anyone and once you understand the culture he is trying to build it’s easy to be all in. Things will be better for not just you, but the entire team. Coach Arroyo wants everyone in the building to feel like they can say they are, or were, apart of a family when they were here.


Is there anything you want to say to UNLV fans and your teammates that seeing this interview?

I’m excited to announce that I will be back. I know my teammates are going to be excited that I’m coming back, and I know the fans are too.


(You can listen to Joe’s exclusive interview with Charles Williams by clicking here)


Williams coming back to UNLV is great news for the program. He is the heartbeat of the program and has represented the Rebels, on and off the field, with class,respect, and dignity. He embodies everything UNLV wants in their student-athletes to be and all that is right with collegiate athletics. Welcome back Chuck!



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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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