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Wisconsin football: James Williams medically retires

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The redshirt freshman will have career-ending surgery next week.

Freshman cornerback James Williams speaks with a trainer during fall camp.
Matt Belz

Wisconsin Badgers redshirt freshman cornerback James Williams, out of Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Florida, will undergo career-ending surgery next week on a torn meniscus. It will be the third such surgery of his football career, forcing him to step away from the game he loves.

If you the tweet isn’t showing up, here is his message in its entirety, please note that some of the dates are incorrect in his post:

“On September 11, 2018 I tore my meniscus and I being the person I am, and the way I love the game so much, I decided to continue to play and finish out my senior season. After the season I decided to get surgery and I knew I would miss at least the first couple of games of my college career, but I was okay with that because I won my school a state championship and that was all that mattered at the time. I did my rehab over the summer and the first 2 weeks of fall camp I tore my meniscus again. Had my second surgery for the same meniscus on August 23, 2018 (actually 2019). After my second surgery, my knee didn’t get any better and unfortunately I will be receiving my 3rd surgery for my meniscus on February 12, 2019 (actually 2020). Unfortunately, this surgery will lead to the end of my football career.”

A former three-star recruit, Williams had his first meniscus injury as a senior in high school, and had two subsequent tears to the same knee during his first year and a half at Wisconsin according to his Twitter post.

During his high school recruitment, Williams originally chose to attend Wisconsin over scholarship offers from Florida, Louisville, Nebraska, Ole Miss and others after winning a state championship.

Williams was one of three scholarship cornerbacks to join the program last summer, along with Dean Engram and Semar Melvin, and his departure will hurt the young depth at the position.

Best of luck to the young man!