Virginia Tech tailback Ryan Williams, who had two years of eligibility remaining, will enter the 2011 NFL draft, the school announced on Sunday. Williams declined to have a news conference, and coach Frank Beamer was at the annual coaches' convention and unavailable for comment.
“It came down to what I felt like was the best decision for me,” Williams said in a prepared statement. “When they say you have the potential to be a first rounder, that’s something that’s hard to pass up. This has been my dream since I was six, and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. This is an opportunity to help out my family and especially my brother."
Even though Williams has the potential to be taken in the first round, he might also go in the second. That's why this decision came as a bit of a surprise to me. Because he was injured this year, and because he conceded several times that he would've liked more carries and thought he could do more if given the chance, I thought he'd return to boost his stock with one more healthy season. These guys know what's best for them, though.
On Thursday, leading rusher Darren Evans also announced he would enter the NFL draft. Losing both backs, and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, will mean a significant rebuilding year on offense for the Hokies. Even with David Wilson returning -- and many will tell you he's got the most potential of the three -- there will be a learning curve. You're talking about a backfield that was held to just 66 yards rushing in the Discover Orange Bowl with all of its talent.
It's got a long way to go without it.