Jen Smith on UK Football

Kentucky’s Boom Williams plans to enter NFL Draft

Shortly after Kentucky fell in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Saturday, running back Boom Williams announced his intentions to forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft.

Williams, a 5-foot-9, 196-pound junior from Monroe, Ga., led the Cats in yards during the regular season with 1,135 and seven touchdowns on 160 carries.

Recently, Williams said he was focused on the bowl game, but that he’d had conversations with his family about putting his name in the draft.

“Conversations and things have started,” he said on Dec. 9. “It’s something I’m going to have to think about as well. Like I said, right now my main focus is the bowl game, but after the bowl game my family will talk some more.”

Coach Mark Stoops confirmed early in December that “a few” players had requested postseason NFL evaluations.

“Right after the bowl game, we’ll try to get serious with the players who may be thinking about that and give them as much information as they can have to give them an informed decision,” he said.

For the last two regular seasons, Williams led the Cats in yards per rush with 7.1 yards, a school record.

He finished the regular season as Kentucky’s seventh all-time career rusher with 355 carries for 2,476 yards (next is 2,618), just the eighth player in school history with more than 2,000 yards.

In the regular season, Williams ranked seventh in the SEC and 40th nationally in averaging rushing yards per game with 94.6.

He’s just the second player in school history to have back-to-back seasons of at least 850 yards. The only other player to do that is Sonny Collins.

Kentucky returns true freshman Benny Snell, who had 1,057 yards and and 13 touchdowns in the regular season for the Cats, as well as Sihiem King (81 yards, one touchdown). Runing back A.J. Rose, who redshirted this season, has drawn high praise from coaches this season.