It takes a special kind of mentality to return kicks and punts. Running headlong into the football equivalent of oncoming highway traffic is not exactly written into human rationality, after all, and finding the right person with the speed to take a kick to the house and the bravery to risk injury by running at that coverage team with purpose.
Fortunately, college football players are the type of players who would at least try, because that's football and that's just the way of things. And so with Virginia Tech needing some help in the return game after losing three returners over the last couple weeks, VT coach Frank Beamer figured he could use tailback Ryan Williams back there in a pinch. And sure enough, Williams -- wait, what's that? Okay, let's just skip all that:
"Ryan decided at the end he’d rather not do that," Beamer told the Daily Press . "You want a guy back there that wants to be there. I’m not sure what Ryan’s reasoning was, but it was his decision.”
As the Daily Press points out, Ryan Williams does have one career return in college... and zero successful returns; Williams muffed a punt that led to an Alabama field goal in a 34-24 loss for the Hokies to start 2009. Since then, Williams has stayed away from special teams, and truly, more power to the guy; if he knows he's not cut out for it, then that's that, and it's probably better for the team that he not stand back and field punts or kicks. That takes a lot of maturity to realize, and though humility doesn't necessarily make a good football player, it does make for a good teammate.