BYU running back Ty’Son Williams to declare for NFL draft, forgo possible sixth season

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ty'son Williams. BYU football photo day in Provo on Wednesday Aug. 7, 2019.

After weeks of cryptic tweets, BYU running back Ty’Son Williams finally set the record straight: he will not be returning next season. The former-four-star-recruit turned grad transfer posted on his personal Twitter that he will forgo a sixth season and instead declare for the NFL draft.

The running back from South Carolina chose BYU over Florida State, Marshall and Western Kentucky.

Williams suffered an injury during the Washington game and a few days later announced it was a season-ending ACL injury. Because Williams had played in only four games, he could have applied for a medical hardship with the NCAA and returned for a sixth season (second at BYU).

“Cougar nation: Thank you for accepting me for who I was,” Williams said in his Twitter post. “In only [four] games I gave you all everything I had and more. Unfortunately my season came to an end short but that span of time was the player I had aspired to be the moment I stepped on a college campus.”

During his short time in a Cougar uniform, Williams ran for 264 yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries. He almost broke out for 100 yards twice – at Tennessee (92) and against Southern California (99). Williams added another 47 yards on seven receptions.

Williams’ injury forced the staff to re-evaluate the running back position.

Without the season starter, Emmanuel Esukpa and Lopini Katoa were looked to to step up. Unfortunately, Esukpa battled his own injuries throughout the remainder of the season. Katoa steadily contributed throughout the remainder of the season, albeit missing the Idaho State game.

However, there were other standouts.

Freshman Sione Finau became the first Cougar to rush 100 yards this season when he racked up 102 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against Idaho State, but suffered a season-ending ACL injury of his own during practice a few days later.

Another freshman, Jackson McChesney, romped for 228 yards and two scores on just 15 carries at UMass. It was the best performance from a freshman and sixth-best in BYU program history. But he too ended up being dogged by injuries and wasn’t available much in the last couple of games.

Assuming everyone is healthy by the fall, the Cougars should have a solid core of running backs to lead the ground game, but having Williams declare for the draft at least opens up a scholarship spot to possibly bring in another player.