BYU football: RB Jamaal Williams to miss UConn game

2014-08-01T20:00:00Z 2014-08-01T23:30:26Z BYU football: RB Jamaal Williams to miss UConn gameJared Lloyd Daily Herald Daily Herald
August 01, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

For the second time in less than a year, BYU junior running back Jamaal Williams is dealing with the fallout of making poor decisions -- but he already has a solution to keep himself out of trouble in the future.

"If you ever want to see me on the weekends, you'll find me at Classic Skating," Williams said. "You may laugh, but I'm pretty good now and I'll be in there so that's what I'll be doing. You can come roll with me if you need to."

Williams told reporters after Friday's opening football practice of 2014 fall camp that he would be working with the Cougar second-string offense throughout camp and that he would miss the first game.

"I'm on punishment right now," Williams said. "I'm going to be there for awhile. Most definitely I am (suspended) but I'll be back for the Texas game."

Williams didn't go into detail about what happened but said it was "having fun, back home stuff" but was in violation of BYU's honor code.

Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall said that this is a situation where something happened and he's looking to build from it with Williams.

"I work with young people all the time on ways to grow and develop," Mendenhall said. "Sometimes it includes something like that and sometimes it doesn't. Jamaal is handling it really well and I look forward to helping him doing that."

When asked if other players would also miss the game against UConn, Mendenhall basically said that would be handled by the program and he wouldn't make it public.

"Any other players that need development, I'll handle internally and I'll act appropriately," he said. 

He later added that he wouldn't have said anything regarding Williams if the running back hadn't mentioned it.

"My intention wasn't to announce anything," Mendenhall said. "That Jamaal did kind of put me on reaction mode. I would much prefer these matters, when possible, to just be handled internally and then we keep it that way. Sometimes that happens at BYU, sometimes it doesn't."

Williams said that it's hard to start camp this way but that he's determined to make the most of his situation.

"It's not half the season," he said. "It's just one game. I ain't excited about it but I'll do it. I'll do what I have to do to get back on the field."

The junior's teammates were quick to emphasize their support of the running back.

"I think it could be a distraction, but I think Jamaal has handled the situation extremely well," Cougar junior quarterback Taysom Hill said. "We'll fully support him and he's been out making us better and still has established himself as a leader in the running back room. Other guys will step up and we'll be OK."

BYU junior wide receiver Mitch Mathews added: "I sent him a text telling him how much I cared about him and I'd do anything for him. He doesn't walk about the locker room with his head held low. He just does his thing and we're going to welcome him with open arms and he knows that."

Williams said he's determined to keep there from being another problem in the future.

"There ain't no third problem going to happen," Williams said. "Jamaal is going to do what he needs to do to get done but have fun still. I made a mistake one time but I'm overcoming it and trying to be a positive role model now."

That includes a renewed emphasis on skating, the junior said.

"You'll see me doing nothing but Classic Skating, NetFlix, hanging out with friends and teammates and going to other sports games, but that's pretty much it," he said. "My footwork is good on skates. You all just need to come and see. I'll videotape you all and you can see it's not easy."

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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