TE D.J. Williams returning to Arkansas

Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams is returning for his senior season.

Williams caught 32 passes for 411 yards and three touchdowns this season, and he has 98 receptions for his career. Williams' decision comes less than a week after Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett decided to forgo the NFL draft as well.

"Taking into consideration the rewarding total experience I have had in Fayetteville, I feel there is no reason to cut this short," Williams said in a release. "There are a lot of teammates and people I've grown close to and the ability to spend another year with them pursuing our goals is a big reason I want to come back."

The Razorbacks went 8-5 this season, and they will return their quarterback, all their top receivers and most key offensive linemen this fall.

Williams caught 61 passes in the 2008 season, and although his receiving numbers were down significantly in 2009, he was a complete enough tight end to at least entertain the idea of leaving school early. Instead, he'll team up with wide receivers Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright to give Mallett plenty of options.

"The coaches here and the atmosphere we practice and compete in have helped me develop into more of a complete player," Williams said. "I understand the value of gaining another year of experience and the value of working towards finishing my degree."

Mallett threw for a school-record 3,624 yards this season, and his return should give the Razorbacks one of the nation's most dynamic passing offenses.

"With Ryan and most of the key guys from last season returning I think this team understands what we can accomplish next season," Williams said. "That is something I'm excited about and something that means a lot to all of us."

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