Sources have informed CuseNation that Wayne Williams, a senior defensive tackle on the Syracuse football team, is no longer part of the program. Sue Edson, Associate Athletics Director for Communications, confirmed the news Tuesday evening.
"Wayne Williams is no longer part of the football program and has been granted release to pursue transferring to another institution," SU said in a statement.
When contacted by CuseNation.com, Williams declined to get into the specifics of the situation. He simply said that he will continue to look forward.
"I'm no longer a part of the team," Williams said. "(You) can't rewind life. I'm going to graduate with a Syracuse degree for me and my family and who knows after that. I know I was going to have a big year this year. Coach Hicks and my teammates know that."
Williams clarified that he will not transfer in order to look for an opportunity to play this season. Instead, he will stay at Syracuse in order to finish his education and earn a degree.
The news is yet another blow to the depth of the defensive line entering the 2015 season. Isaiah Johnson had to conclude his career early due to ongoing concussion issues. Defensive tackle Marcus Coleman was medically disqualified due to chronic foot problems. Fellow defensive tackle Ryan Sloan decided to leave the program and transfer to Stony Brook. Another defensive tackle, Jalen Harvey, transferred due to home sickness.
Defensive end Tyler Marona ended his career due to concussions prior to the 2014 season.
The news likely means true freshmen Steven Clark and Tyler Cross will be counted on in some capacity this season. They are left with Kayton Samuels, John Raymon and Chris Slayton as scholarship defensive tackles on the roster prior to the arrival of the true freshman. Defensive end Ron Thompson, who played tackle last season, may be counted on to provide rotational depth there this season again. Other players could be counted on to do the same.
It also means that the health of the defensive line will be even more critical due to the lack of bodies.
Williams came to Syracuse with a lot of hype, calling himself “Swagger ‘Cuse” and displaying a charismatic personality. However, since his arrival, his production has lacked the same fanfare. He recorded nine tackles and one fumble recovery during his junior campaign.