Ohio State RB Antonio Williams announces transfer to North Carolina

Antonio Williams rushed for 290 yards and three touchdowns at Ohio State in 2017. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

With sophomore J.K. Dobbins and junior Mike Weber cemented atop Ohio State’s depth chart at running back, Antonio Williams opted to return to his home state.

Williams, a junior, announced Monday he will transfer to North Carolina. At UNC, Williams will have to sit out the 2018 season before having two seasons of eligibility remaining to suit up for the Tar Heels.

As a third option behind Dobbins (1,403 yards in 2017) and Weber (1,722 yards in two seasons), Williams rushed for 290 yards and three touchdowns on 57 carries in 2017. He also chipped in five receptions for 25 yards. As a true freshman in 2016, Williams had six rushes for 28 yards.

Williams seemed to allude to the logjam at his position in his farewell message.

“As individuals we set goals for ourselves, some things are obtainable from the paths that we choose, and some things aren’t. Though being at Ohio State provided me with the right path to reach those goals, the timing for me to be at OSU wasn’t the most ideal. With that being said, following the end of this semester, I will be transferring to the University of North Carolina,” Williams wrote.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Tar Heel family, but also sad to leave my brothers at OSU. At the end of the day, this was a decision based on multiple things, from family, to having particular opportunities. I hope to bring a surplus of success to UNC and am ecstatic about coming home and representing NC once again! Again, thank you for everything Ohio State, I can’t wait to begin this journey at UNC.”

Williams, a four-star recruit in the 2016 class, could provide a big boost for UNC. Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford said recently that Williams was one of the team’s most-improved players despite his position at No. 3 on the depth chart.

“First and foremost, he’s a pro about how he handles his business,” Alford said. “He’s an extremely mature kid. He has improved. He’s probably, in my estimation, one of our top three guys on the team as far as improvement. Obviously, I’m probably biased, but he’s had a great spring.”

Williams rushed for 47 yards and a score on just five carries in the team’s spring game earlier this month.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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