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Texas LT Connor Williams declares for the 2018 NFL Draft

The All-American won’t play in the bowl game.

Kansas State v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Texas Longhorns junior left tackle Connor Williams has played his final down in burnt orange and white, as the school released a statement on Monday that the Coppell product will forgo his final season of eligibility to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

The statement also indicated that Williams will not play in the team’s bowl game — his Longhorns career is over.

Here is the statement that Williams released through the school:

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have spent the past three years at The University of Texas. The array of emotions and experiences through my years on the 40 Acres has been nothing short of amazing. The relationships I have formed with my teammates, the student body, and the staff have created a bond that will last a lifetime. The blood, sweat, and tears, and having been through so much together, will always hold a special place in my heart. Arriving as a freshman with wide eyes and an open mind, I couldn’t have become the man I am today without those relationships and the lessons I’ve learned here.

My time here, from calling my father crying and informing him I had been admitted to the Red McCombs Business School, to holding the phone with my mother on the other end trying to inch the words out that my teammates had elected me as team captain, the joy and endeavors I have faced at this amazing University cannot be matched. While it comes with some sadness, it also comes with the excitement of moving to the next challenge. My family and I have decided it is my best interest to forgo the bowl game and my senior season to begin preparing for my professional football career. One of the reasons I worked so hard to come back from my injury was to help the team reach its goal of playing in a bowl game, and I’m proud we were able to accomplish that. I will continue to support my teammates in their efforts to finish the season strong and in the continuing growth that is happening with Texas Football.

I can’t thank all of my coaches and everyone at Texas enough. They’ve all done so much for me. Thank you to Charlie Strong and Coach Wickline who were instrumental in bringing me here. Thank you Coach Herman, Coach Warehime and our strength coach Yancy McKnight who have been amazing to work with. I’m better prepared for my future as a football player and as a man because of you and so many who have impacted me here.

I look forward to the process and experiences ahead of me, but remain in such appreciation of how blessed I have been to truly know the 40 Acres. I know, understand and believe the true meaning of “Longhorn For Life.”

The 6’6, 315-pounder missed seven games due to a knee injury he sustained against USC, but returned against West Virginia to spark the running game, much as he did last season when he helped pave the way for D’Onta Foreman to win the Doak Walker Award. Williams also held up well in pass protection — he didn’t give up a single quarterback pressure in the game.

Last season, Williams was a consensus first-team All-American after earning multiple nods as a freshman All-American in 2015. A former three-star prospect out of Coppell, Williams started every game of his career in which he was healthy.

Now he will break one of the school’s longest and most ignominious streaks when he becomes the first Texas offensive lineman drafted since 2008. Williams is widely expected to be among the first tackles selected in the first round.