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USATSI

Kansas star running back Pooka Williams has opted out of the rest of the 2020 season. The junior made his announcement on his Twitter account, citing his mother's health issues as the reason for his departure. 

"Health and family are the most important things to me. Right now I need to be with my mother, who is battling health issues," Williams said in a statement. "I want to thank Coach [Les] Miles and everyone with the Kansas Football program for their commitment and understanding. I believe in the direction of Kansas football and what Coach Miles is building." 

Williams said he will return home to Louisiana to be close to his family during this time. 

The announcement comes four games into Kansas' season, during which time Williams rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns. That's second on the team behind sophomore Velton Gardner. However, Williams has been a venerable multi-tool player for the Jayhawks ever since he stepped on campus in 2018. He led the team in rushing during each of his first two seasons in Lawrence, totaling 2,186 and 10 touchdowns. He's also been a receiving threat out of the backfield and a key contributor on special teams. Against West Virginia in Week 7, Williams returned a late kickoff for a touchdown. 

Williams did not make any mention of transferring in his statement, but the tone of the tweet also indicated he's played his last down as a Jayhawk. He is also eligible to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft