UK FOOTBALL | Boom Williams dealing with "personal issues," not practicing with the team
09/29/2015 07:57 PM
LEXINGTON — Jojo Kemp is in, and Boom Williams is out … for now, at least.
Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops made a surprise appearance after Tuesday night’s practice to clarify the status of his sophomore running back, saying Boom Williams isn’t practicing with the team while dealing with what Stoops called “personal issues.”
“I did want to put an end to any speculation about Boom,” Stoops said. “Boom’s going through some personal things and we’re going to keep that between Boom and I.”
Stoops did clarify that contrary to online rumors, Williams’ absence has nothing to do with quitting the team, either.
“It has nothing to do with him quitting the team or anything like that,” Stoops said.” No, nothing.”.
UK made Williams, the Wildcats’ leading rusher for the season with 342 yards on 47 carries through four games, unavailable for comment after practice, citing a seldom-used policy that players who’ve recently dropped on the depth chart are ommtited from media interview sessions.
In regards to availability for Saturday’s game against Eastern Kentucky, Stoops said Williams’ status remains uncertain until he returns to practice.
“When he gets some things resolved and situated, he’ll be back out there,” Stoops said. “Until then, we’ll support him any way we can, and the other guys will step up and compete.”
After starting the game, Williams was absent from Kentucky’s final drives against Missouri as junior Jojo Kemp handled all the rushing duties in the fourth quarter. Freshman running back Sihiem King even replaced Williams in the Wildcats’ victory formation on the final play of the game, and Stoops declined to elaborate on why Williams sat out the fourth quarter.
“Again, I’m going to keep that between Boom and I,” Stoops reiterated. “He is going through some things that – that’s a team matter.”
The running back shuffle has definitely captured the interest of Big Blue Nation, but Stoops assured the media that Williams’ absence has not been a distraction within the UK locker room.
“I really don’t,” Stoops said. “I think that’s another great improvement by this team. I think that what the outside world would perceive as a distraction, I think in here things move on.”
The Wildcats and Colonels kickoff on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Commonwealth Stadium. It’s the first meeting between the in-state teams since 2009.