The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1 but will have to do it without captains Kyle Hamilton and Kyren Williams. On Friday, the pair separately announced that they are opting out of the bowl game, and will be entering the 2022 NFL Draft.
Glory to the Lord! DREAM BIG… pic.twitter.com/I28TdSubOV— Kyren Williams (@Kyrenwilliams23) December 10, 2021
This news about Kyle Hamilton has been expected for quite some time. After only 8 plays against the USC Trojans, Hamilton suffered a leg injury that has kept him out for the remaining five games. He has been projected to be at least a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft, and most observers felt that he shouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that status.
Kyren Williams leaving a year of eligibility on the table is no surprise — but he did suggest that he might still play in the bowl game just last week. Kyren’s NFL Draft future isn’t as set in stone as Hamilton’s — but he has been projected as a round 2 or round 3 type of running back.
This is all very much expected, but it’s still a tough blow. Two of the all-time greatest players to ever play these positions at Notre Dame were on the 2021 Notre Dame football team, and now they have played their last down before the season ends.
Good luck to Kyle and Kyren in the upcoming combine and draft.