Brigham Young University Cougars football was dealt a surprising blow today, as it was revealed that star running back Jamaal Williams had withdrawn from the school and would not play this year for “personal reasons,” but would return in 2016. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Williams decision, which was reported by John Taylor of NBC Sports’ College Football Talk. As of now, the plan is for Williams to redshirt in 2015 and come back to the team next year.
A former star at Summit High School in Fontana, California, near San Bernardino, Williams has rushed for 2,526 yards in three seasons with the Cougars. Last season, though he only appeared in seven games due to an early season suspension and then a knee injury, he still led BYU with 518 rush yards. Williams has also caught 53 passes for 487 yards and a touchdown in his time with the program.
Thus, one gets an idea of just how big a loss Williams is, as the leading rusher behind him last season was quarterback Taysom Hill. Considering how three of BYU’s first four games this season come on the road, the team is going to need all of the help it can get in replacing Williams’ production.
BYU opens the season on the road against Nebraska on September 5.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports