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High Noon Highlights(9/14): What motivates Larry Williams, Paddle People to make changes after reporter gets hit

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s high noon(ish)...

Larry Williams talks about his motivations:

Larry Williams is on medical redshirt after a career that seems to have been plagued by injuries. He sat down with Nathan Ruiz of The Oklahoman to talk about what’s gotten him thorough it. This is a great read. Larry has found motivation for his mother that is battling kidney and liver failure and his newborn daughter, Ava. Nathan tells the story of reunion on the fourth of July where Williams got go introduce his new baby girl to his family. Ruiz interviewed members of Williams family and they have some great anecdotes. Williams’ girlfriend, Ashley Stephens tells of the experience having Ava.

But the joy of the first holding Ava Grace Williams almost overwhelmed him.

“The doctor thought he was gonna pass out,” Ashley said.

With a family history of ovarian cysts, Ashley believed it was impossible for her to have children, calling Ava’s June 12 birth “a miracle.”

Larry’s thankful, too. His favorite part of every day is going back to their one-bedroom apartment after practice and spending time with Ava.

“She sleeps a lot, and she eats a lot,” he said. “Just like me.”

During his trip home, family noticed their father-daughter bond. They saw how her eyes followed him, how she always perked up when he spoke, how she woke up from naps at the sound of him approaching.

“She’s gonna be a daddy’s girl,” said his brother, Lincoln. “Every time she cried, he picked her up and she stopped instantly.”

Paddle People to make changes follow reporter being hit:

After Fox reporter Lesley McCaslin was accidentally hit with a paddle during Saturdays game with South Alabama. Paddle People members met with OSU Athletics to address safety concerns. O’Colly reporter Hallie Hart talked to OSU AD of Communications Gavin Lang about the changes going to be made.

“They’re going to scoot down a little bit farther to the west (when they’re paddling) to avoid kind of that one tight area, that hotspot where the accident happened,” Lang said.

He explained that some Paddle People will still watch the game from the spot where the incident occurred, but they will no longer paddle there.

He also said fewer people will paddle in the stadium at one time, though he isn’t sure if they have a set number. Students will take turns standing at the wall throughout the game, avoiding exhaustion and freeing space on the front row.

“That causes a pretty significant change in just the fact that they’re not going to be paddling in the tight spaces,” Lang said.

Injury to Rodney Anderson shows point about Justice Hill’s playing time:

Jeremy Kolok wrote a fantastic column for the O’Colly telling why he thinks it’s smart to rest Hill after Rodney Anderson sustained a season-ending injury in Saturday’s OU game against UCLA.

“It hurts because it could happen to anybody,” said Justice Hill, an OSU running back. “Unfortunately for him, he’s out for the rest of the season. But you can’t really look at that from my end. You just gotta go out there and keep playing.”

Hill is coming off one of the quietest performances of his career, mostly because of a lack of playing time, though he still finished the day with two touchdowns and 34 rushing yards.

Anderson’s injury occurred early in a huge nonconference matchup with a another power-five opponent. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be on the field at that time.

But for OSU, in a home matchup with a Sun Belt team in September, it made sense to rest Hill, the Cowboys’ star running back, as much as possible.

“You never take anything for granted,” Hill said. “You just gotta stay prayed up and do the things off the field that you need to, like nutrition-wise, and just go out there and play hard.