Former Texas Longhorn running back and Baltimore Ravens starter Ricky Williams announced his retirement today. A Heisman Trophy winner and NFL All-Pro player with over 10,000 rushing yards, Williams retires after a somewhat tumultuous NFL career that began in 1999.
Williams delivered a statement to Texas Football detailing his decision:
“The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life,” Williams said. “I pray that all successive adventures offer me the same potential for growth, success and most importantly fun. I want to thank all my fans, teammates, coaches and supporters for the strength they've given me to overcome so much. I want to especially thank my family, Coach Mack Brown, Coach [Mike] Ditka, Coach [Bill] Parcells, Ronnie Brown, Wilbert Montgomery and the Jamail family for believing me. As for what's next, I am excited about all the opportunities ahead. Continuing my education, running The Ricky Williams Foundation and whatever other opportunities present themselves.”
Texas Football has a summary of Williams' key stats from his career spanning eleven seasons:
Williams finished his career with 10,009 rushing yards (26th/NFL history), passing Earl Campbell (9,407 yards) to become the Longhorns' most productive NFL rusher. His 2,431 rushing attempts (23rd), 66 rushing TDs (32nd) and 12,615 yards from scrimmage (42nd) also rank among the top 50 in NFL history. He also had eight TD receptions to tally 74 career TDs (66th) and produced a 1,000-yard season as recently as 2009, becoming only the seventh running back in NFL history to do so in a season in which he was 32 years or older at its start.
Following a charging start with the Horns, Williams’ pro-career got off to a rocky start with a non-traditional contract with the New Orleans Saints negotiated by rap mogul Master P. A marijuana arrest lead to a temporary retirement from pro ball during his tenure with the Miami Dolphins. He later returned to the team. After that he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, where he broke the 10,000-yard rushing mark.
You can read more about Williams’ career at ESPN.