LEXINGTON, Ky. — The speed is known, but the singing is a surprise.
Boom Williams has electrified Commonwealth Stadium crowds during his days as a Wildcat, but teammates see — or rather hear — a different side of the running back in the locker room.
“It’s just something I don’t talk about because most people don’t ask,” Williams said. “They don’t know.”
Senior cornerback J.D. Harmon, who shares a similar passion for singing and music, gave away the little-known fact.
“He’s a singer,” Harmon said. “Definitely. A lot of people don’t know that but he’s a great singer.”
Williams took music classes in elementary and middle school, but singing is something that comes naturally to him. Ask him to sing on the spot and he might decline, but Williams has no problem showing off his pipes in the locker room or at his house around friends or family.
But Williams isn’t the only musically inclined Wildcat. Harmon is another as is sophomore linebacker Jordan Bonner. Harmon often posts videos of himself covering hits on his Twitter or Instagram page. He’s inspired by Drake and Lil Wayne, his favorite rapper.
“A lot of people don’t think about it, but music, it speaks to you,” Harmon said. “Certain lyrics, some songs you actually go through. You listen to the lyrics and you relate to it. It’s a connection with an artist you have no idea about. But the music — good vibes. It gets you through the day sometimes.”
Bonner has a background in music. It was his passion prior to football. He went to the Cleveland School of the Arts from 7th-10th grade and said he didn’t start to take football seriously until he transferred from the school.
“We wasn’t always football players,” Bonner said. “Everyone’s got their own little talents. I know some guys who are able to draw on the team.”
Bonner, who grew up listening to Musiq Soulchild, Brian McKnight and Smokie Norful, wants to be a music teacher.
“I know I can’t always be a football player,” Bonner said. “Rather than just having a regular old job I can do something I’m passionate about.”
Bonner transferred to Kentucky from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and a teammate heard him sing and mentioned Williams could also sing.
“Then I just paid attention and keyed my ear to him a little bit,” Bonner said. “We played an R&B song in the locker room and I heard him sing. I was like, ‘OK,'” Bonner said with a grin.
Rap and R&B are Williams’ genres of choice. Michael Jackson is one of his favorites artists.
The junior running back crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career in 2016 and was fourth in the SEC at a tick over 7-yards per carry. But Williams’ running talent is no secret. It’s on display in front of thousands.
Singing is different.
“There’s some more guys that’ll shock you on this team that have a lot of other hidden talents people don’t know about,” Williams said. “It’s fun getting to see those talents coming out of my teammates every once in awhile.”