Jamaal Williams withdrawing from BYU, plans to be back in 2016

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This is what you would call a significant — and unexpected — August development.

BYU announced Thursday afternoon that star running back Jamaal Williams has withdrawn from school for what was only described as “personal reasons.”  Right now the plan is for Williams to redshirt the 2015 season, then return for the 2016 season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall stated.

The announcement is the most recent down-tick in a career that’s seen its share of highs (mostly) and lows (some).

Williams has led the Cougars in rushing each of the last three years, totaling 2,526 yards and 23 touchdowns in that span.  He’s added 53 receptions coming out of the backfield.

He was the leading rusher in 2014 despite missing a total of six games, the opener because of a suspension for underage consumption of alcohol and the final four games because of a significant knee injury.

The loss of Williams is a sizable one for a BYU team that opens the 2015 season with games against Nebraska, Boise State, UCLA and Michigan, with just one of those contests, against the Broncos, in Provo.