Ohio State running back Antonio Williams impressed during spring football, improving enough that he appeared to be in position to challenge for significant playing time in 2018.
But Williams announced Monday afternoon on Twitter that he would transfer at the end of the semester to the University of North Carolina in his home state.
In his post, Williams thanked Ohio State, coach Urban Meyer and running backs coach Tony Alford and his teammates, but said he was seeking another opportunity.
“As individuals we set goals for ourselves, some things are obtainable from the paths that we choose, and some things aren’t,” Williams wrote. “Though being at Ohio State provided with the right path to reach those goals, the timing for me to be at OSU wasn’t the most ideal. … This was a decision based on multiple things, from family, to having particular opportunities.”
Williams, a junior, saw limited action in 2016 and ’17. Last year, he ran 57 times for 290 yards and scored three touchdowns playing behind J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber.
This spring, Williams made a push to earn more playing time and seemed to be doing just that.
“He’s one of our most improved players, I believe,” Alford said before the spring game. “He’s really, really improved his game from top to bottom.”
Alford said he Williams had been “very professional” in coping with his role behind Dobbins and Weber.
“Does he like it? No. if you don’t like where you’re at, work hard. And he’s done that.
“He’s become a much, much better football player. He’s one of the leaders in my room. He does a great job of recruiting and understands the culture of our program and what we’re trying to do.”
But in addition to Dobbins and Weber and freshman Master Teague has impressed since he enrolled early. Freshman Brian Snead will arrive in June.
With that crowded room, Williams decided to play closer to home. He is from New London, North Carolina, which is 85 miles from UNC.
“The Ohio State University has been a place that allowed me to grow tremendously as a man, make relationships that will last a lifetime, and reach some platforms that very few can say they have reached,” Williams wrote.