Bennett Williams released from Illini football team


Photo courtesy of Illini Athletics

Sophomore defensive back Bennett Williams warms up during Illinois football training camp on Friday. Williams highlights a secondary that heads into the 2018 season with a lot young talent.

By Eli Schuster, Sports Editor

It was reported Wednesday afternoon by Bret Beherns of WCIA3 that safety Bennett Williams has been dismissed from the Illini football team for a violation of team rules.

The problem for Williams has been a consistent one, as the sophomore missed the first three games of this season for violating team rules alongside fellow sophomores Nate Hobbs, Carmoni Green and Lou Dorsey.

Williams had a strong freshman campaign and was the first true freshman starter at the safety position in nearly 37 years. He earned himself Freshman All-American status, leading the team in interceptions with three in the year, as well as being fifth on the team with 65 tackles, which was good enough to land him as the Big Ten’s second-leading freshman tackler.

Heading into the season, Williams was looked at as one of the team’s key leaders. During spring practice in March, Williams commented on taking the next step in his sophomore season and building on his early success.

“Last year when I came in, not a lot of people knew who I was,” Williams said. “Now I have some accolades, a little bit of (publicity), but nothing changes for me. I’m just going to do the same thing; I’m going to work hard this year. Expectations are going to be raised, but I’m not living up to anyone else’s; I’m living up to mine.”

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