Virginia Tech sophomore running back Ryan Williams will forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the 2011 NFL Draft, the school announced Sunday:
"It came down to what I felt like was the best decision for me," Williams said. "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 6 and I've never wanted to do anything else. This is an opportunity to help out my family and especially my brother."
Williams was told by the NFL Draft advisory committee he was likely to go in the late first round or second round of this April's draft, despite missing four games with a torn hamstring.
He finishes his Virginia Tech career with 2,132 rushing yards on 403 carries (5.3 ypc) with 32 total touchdowns, 30 on the ground. He set an ACC freshman record with 1,655 rushing yards in 2009.
Williams is the second Virginia Tech running back to declare for the NFL Draft this week. Junior running back Darren Evans announced his intentions to turn pro Thursday. That same day it was first reported by ACC Mania's Josh Parcell that Williams would be going to the NFL.
With Williams and Evans both turning pro, most of the carries will likely go to David Wilson, who will be a junior next season. Wilson showed flashes of brilliance this season, running for 642 yards on 113 carries (5.5 ypc) for five touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdown.
Wilson's speed sets him apart from Williams and Evans, but I don't think he's big enough to handle the same workload those two saw in their seasons as Tech's primary ball carrier. Look for Josh Oglesby or Tony Gregory to be given the chance to earn their share of carries in 2011.
Good luck to Williams, whose freshman season will not soon be forgotten and gave us more memorable runs in two years than most Virginia Tech running backs did in their entire careers.