Rawleigh Williams ends his football career | Arkansas Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Rawleigh Williams ends his football career

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 12:57 PM

Recurrence of a neurological injury has prompted Rawleigh Williams, a star running back for the Razorbacks, to play no more football.

He's written a moving piece about his retirement decision for the Razorback website. He recounts the injury in the spring practice that led to the decision.

An outside zone run to the left side. I’ve run that play literally hundreds of times in my college career. Maybe more.

This outside zone run to the left would be my last.

Not again. I remembered the feeling. It didn’t last as long so I wasn’t as nervous, but I knew something was wrong. I knew that it was similar enough to the last time.

Everyone got to me quickly. When they tested my hand strength I could squeeze, but it was really weak and I could barely feel it. I was trying to calm everyone else down. I remember thinking and then saying “Everything is coming back to me. I can feel my body. Let me get up please.”

My family is the most important thing in my life. 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. I just wanted to stand up to calm them down and show them that I was ok.

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.
There's more, including thanks for many. Now on to the next phase as a student at the University of Arkansas.

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