Boom Williams declares for NFL Draft following bowl loss


Running back Boom Williams #18 of the Kentucky Wildcats runs past defensive back Corey Griffin #14 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first half of the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field on Saturday, December 31, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff.

Anthony Crawford

The loss in the TaxSlayer Bowl to Georgia Tech was a tough blow to UK football, but as Mark Stoops mentioned afterwards he still proud of his team and what it can turn into going forward.

Following the loss, he mentioned how the team returns most of it’s production, but that statement was hurt some with the news following the loss from running back Boom Williams that he will be declaring for the NFL Draft.

“Talked with my family and just finalized the decision last night and told Coach Stoops after the game. There were always somethings that played into it. It wasn’t an easy decision.”

Williams, and UK’s rushing attack overall finished the season on a sour note with the performance that it turned in against the Yellow Jackets, but that shouldn’t weigh too heavily in the eyes of fans. Williams joined with true freshman Benny Snell to give the Cats one of the top rushing attacks in the country.

The tandem became the first pair of 1,00-yard rushers in a single season in school history and were the only pair to do it in a Power 5 school this year.

Williams finished the regular season with 1,135 rushing yards and ranked ninth nationally and third in the SEC in yards per carry (7.1). He also ranks seventh among UK’s all-time rushing leaders with 2,511 career rushing yards. 

With Williams’ departure, a bigger role can be expected from Snell. The freshman impressed historically in his own right this past season. He finished earning All-SEC Freshmen honors after rushing for a team-high 179 times for 1,057 yards (a new record for most rushing yards by a UK freshman) and 13 touchdowns (a new record for most rushing and total touchdowns by a UK freshman).