Arkansas star running back to retire from football after injury

Photo via AP Photo/Samantha Baker

Rawleigh Williams III, the star running back for the Arkansas Razorbacks, announced today that he will be retiring from football in a letter on Arkansas’s website.

Williams suffered his first neck injury before the 2015 season, causing him to miss the whole year. During the final play of the Arkansas spring game, he suffered another hit which proved to be his last.

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Williams led the SEC in the regular season last year with 1,360 yards and 5.6 yards per carry, with 12 touchdowns. 

“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,” Williams said in his letter, entitled “The Next Chapter.”

Head coach Bret Bielema is more than supportive of Williams’s decision, and is excited for him to move on to his next chapter of life. “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,” Bielema said Monday.

With the junior running back leaving, there are some big question marks for the future of the Razorbacks offense.

The most likely answer is sophomore Devwah Whaley, who ran for 602 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Whaley has big shoes to fill, but he has already shown talent on the field.

Williams will obviously miss his team and his coaches, but he remained optimistic in his open letter, finishing it by saying “I am very grateful. It is sad but I truly believe God has a plan for my life. I believe I’m going to be blessed more than I could ever imagine. Even though my plan isn’t going to happen, I know that his plan is better than my plan.”