Andy Hodges

Williams won’t return to Razorbacks after second neurological injury

You had the feeling when Rawleigh Williams went down in the final spring practice and didn’t bounce back up that his career with the Razorbacks might be over. Now it is.

Photo by RAZORBACK SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

You had the feeling when Rawleigh Williams went down in the final spring practice and didn’t bounce back up that his career with the Razorbacks might be over.

Now it is.

Per a letter posted to Arkansas’ sports website Monday morning, Williams told fans he was not going to return.

“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.”

Frankly, it was surprising to some he came back after the first injury, suffered in October 2015. That injury scared the beejesus out of everybody, including Bret Bielema.

He made it back, though. All the way back. He led the Hogs with 1,403 yards rushing last season.

Everyone was looking to bigger things this year.

“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.”

That’s pretty much the feeling the fans will have for a while.

Williams made the right decision, though. It was reported his parents didn’t want him playing after the first injury.

“The first thing I thought when it all happened was the reaction of my mom, dad, sister and brother. I didn’t want them to go through this all over again.”

As with any neurological injury, it doesn’t take as big of a hit after the first injury. Williams had been told this. He knew the risks and played all last season with that risk.

But when he basically bumped into McElvin Agim in the final practice and went down, he knew it was real.

“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.”

He made the right decision.

And no one should argue with it.

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