On the same day spring practice 2011 commenced, Memphis officially learned they have an unexpected hole at a fairly important position on the offensive side of the ball to fill.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, starting quarterback Ryan Williams has asked for a release from his Tigers scholarship, which was granted. Williams’ decision, his father confirmed to the paper, was a direct result of head coach Larry Porter moving from a pro-style offense to a spread attack.
Williams met with Porter Tuesday and Wednesday of this week after returning from spring break and, following that extended pow-wow, decided it would be in his best interests to leave the football program.
“Ryan Williams is no longer part of our program,” Porter said after the first spring session Wednesday. “Obviously, the timing of this wasn’t good, but I’d rather talk about the players who are still wearing the Memphis helmet.”
Williams started 10 games for Memphis in 2010. Cannon Smith, son of FedEx CEO and big-time U of M booster Fred Smith, started the first two games of last season, but has since moved to safety.
With Williams’ departure, it leaves Porter with just two QBs to work with this spring — sophomore Andy Summerlin and redshirt sophomore Will Gilchrist. Both players have attempted as many passes in a Div. 1-A football game as I have.
Taylor Reed (no relation) and Dominique Harris are two quarterbacks who make up part of Porter’s 2011 recruiting class and will likely be at least on the periphery of the competition once they get on campus and summer camp begins. Reed was rated by Rivals.com as a two-star prospect out of Arkansas, while Harris was a three-star player out of Mississippi.