Auburn has not had the start that they envisioned for the 2015 season. It began this summer with leading receiver, Duke Williams being held out from practice due to disciplinary reasons. That was followed with a not so pretty season opener against Louisville, and that was followed by nearly losing to Jacksonville State, an FCS team. And after two losses to LSU and Mississippi State, they just squeaked by San Jose State in the second half.
Just when things seemed like they could not get worse for the Tigers, it has just been announced that star wide receiver, D’haquille “Duke” Williams, has been dismissed from the team by coach Gus Malzahn. Malzahn stated Monday night, “When individuals fail to meet the expectations of our program, there has to be consequences. I gave D’haquille the chance to prove himself. I am disappointed that it did not work out.”
Williams has been a force since his arrival in Auburn from the JUCO ranks, snagging 45 catches last season for 730 yards and 5 touchdowns, and 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown in 2015 thus far. Although he has been a star on the field, he has had his slip-ups off the field as well. Williams was suspended for the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin in 2014 for violating team rules.
Williams’ release should take a weight off of Alabama fans’ shoulders. Although Auburn has not looked up to par, they are always a team that puts in 200% when playing Alabama. Duke Williams had 7 catches for 121 yards last year against the Tide and made his presence known as a deep threat for the Tigers. This will inevitably change the game preparation for defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart and the Crimson Tide defense as they look to go into Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 28th and get the win.