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Razorbacks' Rawleigh Williams III to retire from football

Arkansas Razorbacks' running back Rawleigh Williams III announced Monday he will retire from football. (KATV photo)

Arkansas Razorbacks running back Rawleigh Williams III announced Monday he will step away from football.

In an article posted on the Razorbacks' official website, Williams cited his recent injury at spring practice and his previous neck injury that cost him most of his freshman season in 2015 as the reasons for retiring.

I’ve seen the replay. I saw a normal hit. That scared me...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 was the Razorbacks' leading rusher in 2016 with 1360 yards and 13 total touchdowns.

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.
The most fun I’ve ever had in my life has been being part of this team the last two years. Playing with my brothers, learning from coaches, the workouts, the preparation, the grind, the games … we sacrificed a lot. Now that I can’t play anymore I wish I could sacrifice more.

Bret Bielema released the following 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.”

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