According to his Instagram account Saturday afternoon, Indiana running back Devonte Williams announced his transfer to Southeastern Louisiana State. Williams, a rising redshirt junior, will be able to play right away for the Lions at the Division-1 FCS level.
Williams doubled as the Hoosiers’ primary kick returner for the past two seasons, ranking sixth all-time in program history with 1,511 career returning yards. In a crowded running back room this past season, Williams only rushed 20 times for 70 yards — catching 12 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Along with Alex Rodriguez (graduate transfer, to be determined), and Tyler Natee (Montana State), Williams becomes the third running back to leave the program prematurely. IU running backs coach Mike Hart will have a bevy of options in 2018 — as Morgan Ellison, Mike Majette, Cole Gest, and Ricky Brookins are all expected to return for Hart’s second season in Bloomington.
Backfield departures were somewhat expected after the Hoosiers were unable to solidify a permanent starter at the position in 2017 — Ellison led the Hoosiers with 143 carries while Majette, the starter, only played in five games due to injury. IU’s running backs will compete with incoming freshman Ronnie Walker for playing time, the highly touted 4-star RB who chose Indiana over Michigan State and Virginia.
Walker led Hopewell (Va.) to the 2017 state title, rushing for 1,344 yards and 19 touchdowns en route to the nation’s 21st-best running back by 247Sports. Walker has enrolled early at Indiana and will practice during the spring. The first look at Walker, along with IU’s returnees, will be during Indiana’s Spring Game in April.