A neck injury suffered during spring practice will bring a premature end to Rawleigh Williams‘s career, the Arkansas running back announced Monday.
Williams revealed the news in a Players Tribune-style post on the Razorbacks’ official site.
I’ve seen the replay. I saw a normal hit. That scared me. It shows me it doesn’t take a big hit at this point. Any little thing can trigger it. I also saw the reaction of my mom and my sister. That broke my heart. I can’t do this anymore. I want to be able to walk.
I’m moving onto the next chapter of my life. It’s tough to not be able to play football anymore because I’ve been playing since I was four years old. It wasn’t something I wanted to do or planned on having to do so early. I’ve prayed, listened to my doctors, my parents and my gut.
It still doesn’t seem real yet, but I really don’t have a choice. I’ve dodged the bullet twice. I realize that at the end of the day I want to live a normal life and be around my family.
A rising junior, Williams led the Hogs in rushing last year, accumulating 1,360 yards and 12 touchdowns on 245 carries. He was named an All-SEC Second Team performer in finishing fourth in the conference in rushing. Williams ran 56 times for 254 yards and one touchdown before the 2015 injury as a backup to Alex Collins and Kody Walker.
“This next chapter in Rawleigh’s life will be filled with unlimited success in any career path or anyway of life he chooses,” Bielema said in a statement. “As a head coach I couldn’t be more excited to begin the next chapter with him and be there for him.”
Sophomore Devwah Whaley is expected to carry the load in Williams’s absence this fall.