Texas OL Connor Williams skipping bowl game, declaring for NFL draft

The Texas football program is set to lose some top talent this offseason with OL Connor Williams declaring for the NFL draft and running back Chris Warren set to transfer. (AP Photo)

Tom Herman’s second year at Texas has already become considerably tougher than his first and the latter isn’t even over yet.

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Longhorns offensive lineman Connor Williams has declared for the NFL draft rather than return for his senior year in Austin. Named a consensus first-team All-American following his sophomore season, Williams shot up on draft boards and was featured on NFL.com’s Path To The Draft coverage last summer.

The lineman will be skipping UT’s bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft.

“I can’t thank all of my coaches and everyone at Texas enough,” Williams said in a statement released by Texas. “They’ve all done so much for me. Thank you to Charlie Strong and Coach Wickline who were instrumental in bringing me here. Thank you Coach Herman, Coach Warehime and our strength coach Yancy McKnight who have been amazing to work with. I’m better prepared for my future as a football player and as a man because of you and so many who have impacted me here.”

The move by Williams is not a surprise. It could be one of several defections over the next few weeks. Additionally, Orange Bloods is reporting that RB Chris Warren III will transfer.

Warren was expected to be the team’s top running back entering 2017, but his 314 yards was third on the team as he shared carries. His six touchdowns on 71 carries during his junior season led the team.

Texas finished the regular season 6-6 with a loss to Texas Tech over the weekend. A bowl game is on the horizon.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!