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    January 9, 2011
    Ryan Williams to turn professional
    Sophomore to enter 2011 NFL Draft

    BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech tailback Ryan Williams will enter the 2011 NFL Draft. Williams announced the decision on Sunday after telling the coaches. A redshirt sophomore in 2010, the native of Manassas, Va., had two years of eligibility remaining with the Hokies.

    “It came down to what I felt like was the best decision for me,” Williams said. “When they say you have the potential to be a first rounder, that’s something that’s hard to pass up. This has been my dream since I was 6 and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. This is an opportunity to help out my family and especially my brother.

    “I want to thank Coach Beamer for giving me the opportunity to play. I remember when he came for my home visit with a No. 34 jersey and he told me I’d look good in it. I just thank him for the opportunity to play for his team. I also have thank Coach Hite for the opportunity to play in his backfield and for teaching my how to block and Coach Stinespring for allowing me to play for his offense.”

    Williams played in 23 games for the Hokies, starting 18. After redshirting in 2008, Williams had a record-breaking year as a redshirt freshman. He rushed for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns to earn first-team All-ACC accolades and ACC Rookie of the Year honors. He capped off the season with 117 rushing yards in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Tennessee to earn the game’s Offensive MVP award. He missed several games this year due to a hamstring injury.

    For his career, he rushed for 2,132 yards and 30 touchdowns. His yardage total is the 14th-most in school history.

    “There is no other place I’d rather play and there are no other fans I’d rather have than Virginia Tech fans,” Williams said. “They are the most loyal fans in the country. They were with me all the way, both when I was up and when I was down, and I thank them for making my time here so special. I hope they won’t be mad about my decision, but I hope they know that I’ll always be a Hokie.”

    For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

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