Saturdays for the University of Arkansas will be missing a certain player this fall.
On Monday, Rawleigh Williams III announced he will not return to play football this season. In an article written by Williams posted to ArkansasRazorbacks.com, Williams said the hit he received at the Spring game was his last.
“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.” Williams wrote.
He continued to write, “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.”
For the full piece written by Williams, click here.
After the announcement, Head Coach Bret Bielema, quarterback Austin Allen and offfensive lineman Frank Ragnow released statments on Williams’s decision.
Head Coach Bret Bielema Statement
“As a head coach you always remember the first meeting you have with all your recruits and how that first impression is made. Rawleigh was committed to another school, but after a visit with him and his father, I knew we had a chance. We said at the time that unique recruiting stories often lead to unique experiences in the years ahead and that has been no disappointment. Rawleigh handled his recruiting with maturity and class and that followed into his playing career. At Arkansas, not only does he have All-SEC academic success, but he also steps away as the reigning SEC regular season rushing leader. This next chapter in Rawleigh’s life will be filled with unlimited success in any career path or anyway of life he chooses. As a head coach I couldn’t be more excited to begin the next chapter with him and be there for him.”
Senior QB Austin Allen Statement
“Rawleigh is a guy that every team in college football wishes they could have on their team. He’s hardworking, unselfish, determined and an all-around great teammate. When your best player is also the one who treats others with respect, is the hardest working, and one of the best in the classroom, you know that guy is special. That will be Rawleigh’s lasting legacy with this program. Just because his playing career is over doesn’t mean he won’t have an influence on all of us for his rest of his time at the University of Arkansas. He will be with us every step of the way through this upcoming season. We should all strive to do it the ‘Rawleigh Williams way’ because if we do that, the sky is the limit.”
Senior OL Frank Ragnow Statement
“The term uncommon is something we use around football, but Rawleigh defines uncommon as a friend. He is a guy in the locker room who everyone loves, always seems to be in a good mood, works extremely hard and is the same guy every day. He does everything the right way and that is why it breaks my heart that this happened to him. It is because of all of these traits I know he is going to thrive off the field as well. I’m going miss blocking for 22, aka the SEC leading rusher, but I know he’s going to be very successful and attack this stage of his life full speed.”