Posted by Tom Fornelli
Here's a problem you generally don't want to deal with at any time, let alone on the first day of spring practice. With Memphis beginning its practice on Wednesday, it got a bit of a surprise from starting quarterback Ryan Williams as he's asked for his release from the program.
According to Williams' father, Rich Williams, his son has decided to leave the Tigers because head coach Larry Porter has decided to change the team's offensive scheme from a pro-style to a spread option attack. Which is what coaches tend to do after 1-11 seasons, and going 0-8 within conference play. Still, even when changing schemes, losing the quarterback with the most experience on your team seldom helps matters.
"Ryan Williams is no longer part of our program," Porter said Wednesday. "Obviously, the timing of this wasn't good, but I'd rather talk about the players who are still wearing the Memphis helmet."
Williams started ten games as a freshman last season, throwing for 2,075 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Williams took over for Cannon Smith last season, whom has now moved to safety. Another one of Memphis' backups last season, Tyler Bass, has transferred. Which means that the Tigers now go into the 2011 season with two quarterbacks on the roster in Will Gilchrist and Andy Summerlin. Both of whom are sophomores with now playing experience, and Summerlin is coming off of shoulder surgery.