Kristoff Williams clears up the rumors

RUMORS HAVE continued to swirl about the how and why of Washington State fifth-year senior receiver Kristoff Williams' departure from the program, but after two weeks of trying to piece things together, Cougfan.com was able to secure time to talk with Williams about his situation and what seems to be ongoing intrigue about it among some fans.

For starters, Williams says, the rumor that he was being pressured back onto the field by coaches after sustaining his fourth concussion in five years earlier this season is not true. Nor is the suggestion that he was told to clean out his locker when he informed the staff of his decision to medically retire.

“That’s not how it went down,” said Williams definitively.

There was confusion, however, in Williams' mind as to whether he would be introduced with the rest of the seniors at the final home game, the Apple Cup on Nov. 29. Initially back in October he said he had the impression he would not be allowed to, but WSU Director of Football Operations Antonio Huffman this week assured Williams he absolutely would be honored with the seniors. Williams said he's "very excited to be able to finish it out on a high note like that.”

Williams was expected to be a major part of the Cougar offense and kick return team this season, but he sustained a concussion in Week Two at Nevada and never returned.

“I had been trying to come back at multiple points during the year but the headaches kept returning,” Williams said about his lost 2014 campaign. “… After attempting to go through the protocol a couple times, the team doctor (Sunday Henry) was expressing some concern. She said being that it’s lasted this long, I really needed to consider if it was worth trying to return."

Last season Williams caught 51 passes -- third-most on the team -- for 490 yards. His career total stands at 84 receptions for 818 yards and 6 TDs. Last season he was named WSU’s special teams MVP.

He also left an indelible mark in the classroom. He will graduate from WSU with a GPA close to 4.0, has already has been accepted into the law schools at Georgetown, Michigan and Cal and is waiting to hear back from several others. Last season he named first-team Pac-12 All-Academic.

Williams' work on the field and in the academic arena earned him a starring role in a TV ad the Pac-12 Networks is running this season that promotes WSU.

"Definitely, I’ll always be a Coug," Williams said.

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