For D’haquille “Duke” Williams at Auburn, it was an unceremonious end for a player who came in with high expectations. His quest to rectify that has taken him to our neighbor to the north.
Williams will be suiting up with the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, who begin rookie camp and training camp this week. He was among 22 additions made by the Eskimos on May 11.
The former No. 1 overall JUCO prospect out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College played a little over a year at Auburn under Gus Malzahn. On Oct. 5, 2015, he was dismissed from the team after getting in an altercation with backup center Xavier Dampeer and breaking his jaw outside of a bar.
Williams made a splash in his Auburn debut, catching 9 passes for 154 yards and a TD against Arkansas in 2014. He’d go on to post three more 100-yard efforts, highlighted by 7 catches for 121 yards at Alabama to close the season. Despite missing three games, Williams posted a team-high 45 catches to go with 730 yards and a team-high 5 TDs.
However, Williams was suspended for the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin for violating unspecified team rules. Then, his incident with Dampeer led to his departure after just five games in 2015.
“When individuals fail to meet the expectations of our program, there has to be consequences,” Malzahn said in a statement. “I gave D’haquille the chance to prove himself. I am disappointed that it did not work out.”
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Williams will wear No. 81 for the Eskimos after donning No. 1 for the Tigers.