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Fomer Syracuse Football Player Wayne Williams Talks About Why He Left

Former Orange Wayne Williams says Scott Shafer wasn't fair to him when he booted the defensive lineman from the program.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Williams was one of the more fascinating recruits to play for the Syracuse Orange in recent years. Basically unknown out of high school (on the same team as Ishaq Williams), he committed to SU but went to junior college after not qualifying. He finally made it the following season. Conditioning was a big issue for Williams, who showed up to camp around 340 pounds. Once here, he got injured and missed some time. Then, during the off-season last year, he was abruptly pushed out of the program at a time when defensive line depth was an issue. He ended up transferring to West Georgia where he was injured again but eventually helped the team with a D-II National Title.

Now, as he works out for the New York Giants and other teams in hopes of landing a pro contract, Williams is speaking out about why he left and what he thinks of former SU coach Scott Shafer.

"I don't think I was treated fairly at all, honestly, and my departure from Syracuse hurt my career," Williams said, "but you can't let that stop you from where you're headed.

"My only problem with Syracuse was 'not going to class,' but how can you not go to class and have great grades? I didn't even get a suspension from the team, which is common. I got forced out, which was turned into me asking for a release.

"Why would I want to be released from a team that I'm going to start (on) in one of the best conferences there is to play? A good game against LSU could have changed my life."

"It wasn't my decision," Williams said. "I would never want to leave Cuse."

"I just wish (Shafer) handled things better as my head coach," Williams said. "I'm not just a player. I'm a person with a family that depends on me just like his does."

For the record, Williams was listed second on the depth chart at nose tackle before he left the program. He was also often accused of lacking a work ethic to match his skills.

Shafer didn't comment for the piece so we'll probably never know for sure what really went down.