BYU fans had high hopes for their offense, led by a cadre of senior playmakers at the skill positions.
Now, the Cougars will be without one of their biggest stars, as the university announced today that running back Jamaal Williams will miss the entire 2015 season. BYU states that he has withdrawn from school for personal reasons and will redshirt the 2015 season. BYU expects Williams to return for the 2016 year.
Williams missed six games last season, but still rushed for 518 yards on 109 carries, scoring four touchdowns, while leading all running backs in rushing. Williams also caught eight passes for 47 yards. Paired with Taysom Hill, Williams was projected to lead a formidable read-option rushing attack. Now, his carries will likely go to backups Algernon Brown, Adam Hine, Nate Carter or AJ Moore.
The Cougars did have a capable freshman en route in Charles West, but the embattled signee seems increasingly unlikely to contribute in 2015, if ever.
BYU may have experience playing without Williams, but it is difficult to overstate the loss of one of their more athletic and productive playmakers on offense. His absence will place an even greater burden on Taysom Hill, and also BYU's passing game. While Williams returning in 2016 could make things easier for BYU and a new quarterback, this season just got a whole lot harder