Jamaal Williams suspended for BYU season opener

Jamaal Williams suspended for BYU season opener

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - BYU starting running back Jamaal Williams will miss the August 29th season opener against Connecticut for violating team rules.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - After the first practice of fall training camp, BYU starting running back Jamaal Williams announced that he will be suspended for the season opener August 29th against Connecticut.

"Most definitely I am," Williams said. "But then I'll come back for the Texas game."

Already on thin ice for an underage drinking arrest in February, Williams, who had a shot to break the BYU all-time rushing record this season, violated team rules a second time recently. He said the suspension is the result of a combination of the two violations.

"It's just something that you have to learn from your mistakes and just overcome it," said Williams, who rushed for 1,233 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. "It's just one game. It ain't like it's half the season. It's just one game. I don't like it, I want to play. I'll show that I'll do anything to get back on the field, but right now I'm missing a game."

There are rumors on Twitter that more suspensions are forthcoming to other BYU players, but head coach Bronco Mendenhall would only address the punishment to Williams.

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

Williams wouldn't say if this incident was alcohol related as well.

"It was just having fun," he said. "I'll just say that."

While Williams is not a member of the LDS Church, he knew the rules when he decided to play at BYU. Drinking alcohol is a violation of the school's honor code.

"It's all my doing," Williams said. "I chose to come here. They told me the rules even before I stepped foot here. They told me I'd have to follow the rules just like everybody else. But I'm more mature and I'll learn from it. It just ain't going to happen again."

"It'll be difficult," said quarterback Taysom Hill. "I'm extremely bummed for Jamaal. But he has to take care of some business. I think it could be a distraction, but I think Jamaal has handled the situation extremely well."

"Jamaal knows what he did wrong," added wide receiver Ross Apo. "We'll just move on from that, and he practiced today like nothing happened."

Williams did practice, but did not see any time with the first team offense. Adam Hine appears to be first in line to replace Williams, but Paul Lasike and Algernon Brown will also get reps with the first team. 

The other big news of the first day of fall camp was the arrival of former Bingham High and University of Utah running back Harvey Langi.

After serving a 2-year LDS Mission in Florida, Langi had a change of heart and a change of position. Langi will play linebacker at BYU.

"That's where he chose to play," Mendenhall said. "Very impressed, not only with him as a person, but as a football player just in once practice."

Langi was not made available to the media for comment.

After returning from his mission, Langi met with Mendenhall and decided BYU was the school for him. He will be eligible to play this season.

"It wasn't until after his mission when he came home and set up a meeting with me that he decided that's what he wanted to do," Mendenhall said. "Division one football players from in state that are on missions, living the standards, are really good players and are interested in BYU, just in general that's a great thing."

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