Arkansas Running Back Rawleigh Williams III Giving Up Football After Injuries
Just two weeks after being carted off during Arkansas' spring game, running back Rawleigh Williams III announced he is retiring for football.
This most-recent injury was only ruled a 'stinger' but medical officials were using extreme caution when taking him off the field because of his past. Williams' career almost came to an end when he suffered a severe neck injury against Auburn during his freshman season that required surgery. He fought back to become one of the Southeastern Conference's top running backs in 2016.
The scare during the red-white scrimmage left him with a lot to consider about his future, which he ultimately decided would be more fulfilling without football. The junior explained his decision in a story on Arkansas' website.
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.
Williams finished his sophomore season with 1,360 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, which earned him All-SEC honors. That leaves Bret Bielema with just one running back with more than 200 career rushing yards.