Star safety Kyle Hamilton and 1,000-yard rusher Kyren Williams both announced Friday that they are skipping Notre Dame’s Fiesta Bowl matchup against Oklahoma State and entering the NFL draft.
Hamilton is considered a top-10 pick despite sustaining a season-ending knee injury against Southern California on Oct. 23. He had three interceptions in seven games this season and eight in three seasons with the Fighting Irish.
“Running out of that tunnel to 80,000 screaming fans is something I’ll never forget,” Hamilton said in his announcement on Twitter. “I can’t thank you all enough for the support that has been shown to me and my teammates through thick and thin. You have made me feel like a part of a family and a Golden Domer for life.
“After long thought and deliberation, I have decided to forego playing in the bowl game and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.”
Williams rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 42 passes for 359 yards and three scores in 2021. He finishes his Notre Dame career with 2,153 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground and 78 receptions for 675 yards and four scores.
“Thank you (to Irish Nation) for the best three years of my life playing football and for supporting me throughout my career,” Williams said in his announcement on Twitter. “… I have made the decision to forego playing in the bowl game and will be declaring for the 2022 NFL draft.”
Williams is a likely second-day selection in the draft.
The No. 5 Fighting Irish (11-1) are in the midst of upheaval as they prepare to face the No. 9 Cowboys (11-1).
Long-time coach Brian Kelly departed for LSU and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was promoted to head coach.
–Field Level Media