3-Star WSU RB Commit Suffers Season-Ending Knee Injury


James Williams, a 3-star Washington State RB commit, had high hopes for his senior season at Burbank High School in Southern California. Williams, who fell just one yard short of Burbank’s single-season rushing record during his junior year, hoped to break this record and smash various others on the way to cementing himself as one of the best running backs to ever come out of Burbank. Instead, in a sad turn of events, he’ll be watching the rest of the season from the sidelines with crutches in hand. An MRI on Wednesday revealed a torn ACL and MCL that Williams suffered in Burbank’s season-opener against Bell Garden.

Williams, shortly after verbally committing to WSU in May, explained the reason on why he was sold on the Cougars so early on in the recruiting process. “It came down to Cal and Washington State. Washington State told me I was their top guy and if I committed, they wouldn’t recruit any other backs. That was huge for me and another reason why I wanted to jump on the offer now,” Williams said at the time.

According to Williams, WSU will still honor his scholarship. “I’m still planning on going to Wazzu,” Williams told Cougfan.com’s Braulio Perez. “I called him [WSU assistant coach Paul Volero] and I told him [about the injury]. He told me to get better and that the next time I play football, it will be when I get up there. That’s the positive out of all this.”

Now, with this devastating injury, it will be interesting to see if the Cougs will set out to find another running back in addition to Williams.

Although Williams was told that WSU wouldn’t recruit any other running backs, it would be smart of the Cougar coaching staff to do their due diligence and keep their eyes on additional backs after this injury to Williams. The Cougars, though, are very deep at the position for the next few years with redshirt freshmen Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks, along with true freshman Squally Canada in the fold.

Thankfully for Williams, he was able to secure his scholarship early on and will still be heading to Pullman in 2015. “I’m grateful I committed when I did. I feel blessed and I’m very happy because when the doctor told me I was done, it hurt. [But] after I spoke with Coach Volero on the phone, I felt a lot better because I know this isn’t my last chance,” said a distraught, but thankful, Williams. “Please believe I’m going to work harder than ever and I will come back stronger than ever and get to Wazzu and ball.”

We send our well wishes to James as he heads into surgery and begins his rehab process. Here’s to a strong recovery and a healthy, prosperous career in a Washington State uniform. Go Cougs!