Go Crazy, Cadillac!
Carnell Williams, November 22, 2003. (photo: al.com)
When news came recently that former Auburn running back Carnell Williams had taken a job coaching at the University of West Georgia, my mind immediately went back to his time on the Plains. Affectionately known by Auburn fans as “Cadillac,” Williams is one of the all time Auburn greats.
I recall a conversation I had with him at the 2014 Tiger Trails Induction Ceremony. I asked him what his plans might be after football. “Coaching,” he said. “I think some day, I’d like to coach at the high school or college level.”
At the time he still lacked one semester to finish his degree. He enrolled that same year and received his degree in December, making it possible for Auburn’s second greatest running back to pursue his dream of becoming a coach.
I say “second” because, Carnell ranks second only to Bo Jackson in yards among Auburn running backs. He broke Joe Cribbs’ all-time Auburn career record for most rushing attempts (657) and Jackson’s record for touchdowns (43). And he ranks second to James Brooks in all-purpose yards with 5,033.
What’s amazing is he did all that despite being hampered by injuries that caused him to share time in the backfield with fellow back Ronnie Brown. But as anyone who has kept up with him knows, setbacks are just motivation to the Cadillac.
He and Brown led Auburn to an SEC Championship and what many still believe was the real 2004 National Championship. He was a first round draft pick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and rushed for more than 4,000 yards in seven NFL seasons.
Truly one of the greatest backs to ever play at Running-back U, Carnell inspired his teammates, wowed fans, and astounded opponents. He entertained us with so many great plays, none more exhilarating than one at the beginning of the 2003 Iron Bowl.
I still remember sitting in section four of Jordan-Hare Stadium when Cadillac broke loose on the first play of the game. Taking the handoff from Jason Campbell, he busted up the middle and burned the Crimson Tide defense down the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown. The run electrified the Auburn crowd and stunned the Tide, who were unable to fully recover from the blow.
Many remember the famous call by Auburn radio announcer, Rod Bramblett, “Go crazy, Cadillac! … Go crazy!” And that’s just what the Auburn faithful did too as the run was a prologue to the second win of Tommy Tuberville’s famous “Six in a row.”
As an Auburn Man, I’m proud of Carnell for not only his gridiron exploits but for the good family man, good citizen, and great ambassador he is for Auburn University. And now that Cadillac has started his dream of being a coach at the college level, I wish him well by saying …
Go crazy, Cadillac!