CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami safety Avantae Williams is back on the roster following the dropping of battery charges, though the Hurricanes say the second-year freshman will not make his on-field debut until the second half of the season at the earliest.
Williams was dismissed from the team earlier this summer after facing three counts of aggravated battery of a pregnant victim. The case was closed earlier this month after the woman, who was described in court papers as an ex-girlfriend, recanted parts of her story.
Miami coach Manny Diaz said the university has several benchmarks — described by the school as covering the areas “of education, mentorship, and personal development" — that Williams must meet before he can play, and that he will not be play in any of the Hurricanes’ first six games. He will return to full-scale practice next month after completing a conditioning program.
“Our goal is to make the best Avantae Williams that we possibly can,” Diaz said. “That’s why we gave him the avenue back. There’s some things we want him to be able to accomplish that we think will help him, and by helping him that ultimately helps us as a football program.”
Williams, from DeLand, Florida, was ranked as the No. 1 safety in the 2020 recruiting class but didn’t play last season. Diaz said the university had several people involved in the decision to reinstate Williams.
“The situation changed with the way the case was handled,” Diaz said. “Those decisions are certainly not made by one individual. There’s a lot of communication with the administration at the university level, with the administration at the athletics department level. And really, what became our focus is ‘what we can best do for Avantae going forward?’”
No. 14 Miami faces No. 1 Alabama in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday.
Diaz said Monday that he expects offensive lineman John Campbell, defensive lineman Thomas Davis and safety Brian Balom to miss the season with injuries. Linebacker Sam Brooks and tight end Dominic Mammarelli are expected to be listed as out for Week 1 as well, Diaz said.
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