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Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams is looking for big things from BYU football’s Squally Canada

July 3, 2018 GMT

When former BYU football star running back Jamaal Williams was in Provo for Cougar Media Day on June 22, he was asked what his advice for his friend and former teammate Squally Canada would be.

“That’s my boy,” Williams said. “I’ve tried to teach him as much as I’ve learned already, just give him the heads up on how it is going to be at the next level when he’s ready to go. Mostly I just tell him to focus on this year. This is the best year, really. He’s a great player and I believe in him.”

Williams has lofty goals for his friend this season.

“I have no doubt that this year will be a great year for him,” Williams said. “I expect over 1,000 yards for him. We try to keep each other accountable and put ourselves at a high standard.”

Canada is clearly the returning running back with the most career production (1,026 yards on 195 carries with eight touchdowns and only one lost fumble) and has the extra motivation of heading into his final year of college football.

“It’s going to be a fun time,” Canada said. “The way the scheme is set up with the blocking and with how well the offensive line are blocking, it’s going to be a fun time.”

He believes that the BYU running back group is set to make some big strides.

“I’m really excited,” Canada said at Media Day. “No less than 1,500 yards rushing, that’s what we are going for. I don’t care if it is one person or as a collective group but 1,500 yards is the minimum. That’s the goal (running backs coach AJ Steward) set for us and that’s the goal I’m going to stick with.”

He said he is determined to make sure he does his part to attain the lofty aspirations.

“I’m going to make sure every time I get the ball, I’m going to make it count,” Canada said. “I’m going to make sure every time Zach Katoa or Riley Burt or KJ Hall or whoever else is back there get the ball, they are going to be ready. I’m excited for this group and what we are going to accomplish this year. It all starts with the little things.”

The Cougars know that they had to change a lot of things from 2017 to get back to playing winning football. Canada talked about how some of those little adjustments are bringing the team together in summer.

“One thing that changed was that we used to have music playing in the weight room while we were lifting,” Canada said. “They took that away from us, so everyone is really pushing each other. You can feel that mesh and team bond when you are lifting with no music and pushing your guys on.”

He explained that there isn’t a time for the offense and a time for the defense anymore. It’s all about working together.

“We are starting lifting a little bit later,” Canada said. “This year they changed it so we have more sleep time but we are all going as one group. Last year it was more split up but now it is everyone as one. You are competing with the offense and defense. It’s more of a competition.”

The result he is seeing for the BYU program is encouraging for a team that is starving for success.

“It is a lot different,” Canada said. “Everyone is grinding and working. The energy is very different, from the strength staff down to the players. I think everyone’s mindset is stronger than last year. When you are mentally stronger, it shows — and I think it is going to show on the field when we play this year.”