WSU almost never comments on injuries or absences, so it was downright head-turning last week after a practice when Mike Leach mentioned briefly that Williams was no longer on the roster.
No longer on the roster?
What? Quit? Booted? Injury worse than thought?
Twitter and the message boards exploded. The football program's tight-lipped ways fueled the speculation. Calls to reach Williams for comment were unsuccessful.
How could a standout fifth-year senior, honor student, and star of a Pac-12 Networks ad promoting WSU be off the roster?
Today, we have clarity. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell CF.C that Williams medically retired from football due to concussion concerns. He incurred at least two concussions over the course of his collegiate career.
The last came this season against Nevada in Week Two and Williams hadn’t played since nor been a full participant in practice, though his name continued to be appear on the depth chart until this past week.
The sources also tell CF.C that Williams has already been accepted to the law schools at Georgetown and Cal, and is waiting to hear back from others.
Williams is a criminal justice major at Washington State with a GPA near 4.0. He ultimately wants to sit on the bench one day. He was named first-team all-Pac-12 all-academic as a junior last year.
Williams finished his WSU playing career with 84 receptions, 852 receiving yards, and six TDs. He played in 35 games, starting five, primarily at the X receiver under Leach. Last season he caught 51 passes for 490 hashes, (third most receptions on the Cougs.)
Williams began this season as the Cougs’ primary kickoff returner after returning five kickoffs last year. As a junior, he also posted six special teams tackles -- all on kickoff coverage. He was named WSU's Special Teams MVP at the awards dinner for the 2013 season.