Williams ’16 takes a leap forward to lead Big Green football

by Ray Lu | 10/14/14 6:07pm

Dalyn Williams ’16 is undoubtedly a special player. In his third year as a Big Green starting quarterback, Williams has taken a large leap forward, leading Dartmouth to a 2-0 start in the Ivy League while putting up some of the best stats of his career.

Williams has primarily been known as a running quarterback in the past, but this year, he leads the Ivy League in touchdown-to-interception ratio with eight touchdowns to just two interceptions.

“He’s extremely elusive, extremely quick, and you know, as a defense, it is basically impossible to tackle him,” captain Sean Ronan ’15 said.

Having a dual-threat quarterback has opened the Big Green’s offense, helping Dartmouth average more than 30 points a game this year.

“It really helps me out in the running game, because they don’t know what we’re doing,” running back Kyle Bramble ’16 said. “He can keep the ball and run with it, or he can hand it off to me or he can throw it.”

Williams’s skill on the field isn’t the only thing that’s endeared him to his teammates. His sense of humor has also helped him in his role as a leader for the Big Green.

“I think it was the Penn game, we were out on the field, we were winning so it was just good times, and all the offensive linemen were in on it too, but the other team was calling out, ‘Taco! Taco!’ for one of their plays,” Bramble said. “All of us just started laughing and saying things like, ‘Watch the enchilada’ and all this stuff. Dalyn was the main guy in that and made the defense mad, and all the offense was cracking up.”

From the moment he stepped onto Memorial Field, Williams has made a difference.

In his freshman season, he contributed in all 10 games, racking up 10 touchdowns and earning Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors against Cornell in his first start ever. Williams became Dartmouth’s seventh-ever Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

He calls a 35-run during that first Cornell game as “one the most exhilarating runs of my career.”

Last season, Williams showed even more promise. He was named All-Ivy League honorable mention at quarterback, posting 16 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards of total offense.

Williams attributes his strong performance this season to a sense of urgency toward reaching his ultimate goal: playing in the NFL.

Ronan, who has blocked for Williams the past three years, can attest to the quarterback’s determination.

“He’s definitely matured the past couple of years. Work ethic-wise, he’s definitely one of the hardest workers on the team. He loves what he does and he really strives to be the best that he can,” Ronan said. “I think whatever he puts his mind to, he’ll be able to accomplish.”

Williams has racked up 13 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards of total offense through four games this season. Williams is on pace to throw for 20 touchdowns, putting him in range of the Big Green record of 25, set by Jay Fiedler ’94. Fiedler was the last quarterback to be drafted from Dartmouth into the NFL, and he holds virtually every single passing record for the Big Green.

But Williams has his eyes set on those numbers.

“I want to leave Dartmouth as the best football player to ever play here,” Williams said. “I want to leave here with all the passing records, all the individual records, and most importantly, the last couple of years, I want to help Coach Teevens and the coaching staff and all of my teammates win a couple Ivy League championships.”

Dartmouth has not claimed the Ivy League title in football since 1996, the year most of today’s freshmen were born. Headed into the team’s Homecoming game, the Big Green boasts a 3-1 record.

“We fell short last year, and actually the last couple of years,” Williams said. “It’s just gut-wrenching because it comes down to a couple of plays ... we’re fed up with it.”

Born in Houma, Louisiana, Williams says his ideal situation would be to learn from New Orleans star quarterback Drew Brees.

“To be able to sit behind him while he ends his career and learn from him and be able to, you know, pick up after him as he leaves would be mind-blowing and a dream come true,” Williams said.

The last player to get drafted to the NFL from the Big Green was Casey Cramer ’04, who went in the seventh round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Big Green will look to continue its success against Holy Cross this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.