Notre Dame's Kyle Hamilton, Kyren Williams entering NFL draft, skipping bowl game

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and running back Kyren Williams both declared for the NFL draft on Friday and said they will forgo playing in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 1.

Hamilton is the No. 4 prospect on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board for the 2022 NFL draft, behind Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal.

The junior suffered an injury against USC in October and never returned. Hamilton has been dealing with a fat pad impingement in his right knee. Despite playing in only seven games, he had 35 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and four pass breakups.

"First off, I want to say thank you. Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to attend the greatest university in the world," Hamilton wrote in a tweeted statement in which he thanked his teammates, coaches and fans, among others. "... After long thought and deliberation, I have decided to forego playing the bowl game and declare for the 2022 NFL draft."

Williams led Notre Dame in rushing with 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He had 1,125 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns last season and finishes his career with 675 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

Kiper has Williams ranked as the No. 4 running back in the class behind Iowa State's Breece Hall, Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III and Texas A&M's Isaiah Spiller.