Utah has had an experienced and formidable backfield through two games. It’s still solid, but the departure of one running back has left a noticeable hole.
In a surprising move, senior Joe Williams announced he was retiring from football to focus on his degree. Speaking with reporters, Williams cited nagging injuries and a loss of desire as his reasons to move on from the game.
“Knowing how my body’s been these past couple months, where I’m at mentally and physically, I’m not at the point where I can compete at the level I need to for the team and everybody,” Williams said (via the Salt Lake Tribune). “I feel as though this is the right decision. I’m going to miss it, of course. These guys are my family and [I] love these boys to death. But it’s for the best interests.”
Williams was a complementary piece to Devontae Booker and Travis Wilson last season with 477 yards and three touchdowns. Through the first two games this season, he was tied for the team lead with 22 carries.
The Utes still have leading rusher Troy McCormick and freshman and Zack Moss, the latter of whom could see an increase in carries as McCormick continues to help out in the passing game. There’s also quarterback Troy Williams, who can help out in the running game as well.
In addition, defensive end Kylie Fitts is out for the season after suffering a foot injury against BYU. Fitts led the team with 1.5 sacks through the first two games of the year.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Utah loses two prominent starters in one day, including a surpsise retirement