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RB Justin Williams-Thomas to Transfer to Stanford Before Tennessee's Game vs. Clemson

Adam WellsDecember 27, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Tennessee Volunteers running back Justin Williams-Thomas (26) looks on before the college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Pittsburgh Panthers on September 10, 2022 at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Justin Williams-Thomas is going to play for Stanford next season.

The freshman running back announced on Twitter he was transferring to the Cardinal after playing this season at the University of Tennessee:

JUSTIN WILLIAMS-THOMAS AKA "J-WILL" @akajwill

COMMITTED !❤️ <a href="https://t.co/wNhZ8hIJwR">pic.twitter.com/wNhZ8hIJwR</a>

Williams-Thomas announced on Dec. 4 he was entering the transfer portal:

"I would like to thank Coach Heupel, Coach Mack and the entire Tennessee staff for giving me an opportunity to play at the next level! To all my teammates thank you for all the memories and good times we shared together and the opportunity to grow together as brothers. I will definitely miss you all! To Vol Nation, this year was great! I would not trade it for anything. Thank you guys for all the love and support you showed me through our ups and downs this year! You all are truly the best!"

Coming out of East Paulding High School last year, Williams-Thomas was a 4-star prospect and the No. 22 running back in the 2022 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

According to Patrick Brown of 247Sports, Williams-Thomas' decision last year came down to Tennessee and Auburn before he picked the Volunteers.

"Williams-Thomas went through some of Tennessee's on-campus bowl practices and enrolled in January, which allowed him to go through spring practice," Brown wrote.

The Georgia native had only 37 rushing yards on 11 carries in three games for the Vols. He is leaving Tennessee after it won 10 games in a season for the first time since 2007.

Head coach Josh Heupel led Tennessee to the No. 2 spot in the Associated Press Top 25 for one week before a 27-13 loss to Georgia on Nov. 5. The program hadn't climbed that high in the rankings since November 2001.

The Volunteers are preparing to play Clemson on Friday in the Orange Bowl.

Williams-Thomas' commitment to Stanford adds to a solid group of incoming players for new head coach Troy Taylor.

The Cardinal have the No. 46 overall recruiting class for next season after the early signing period. They are coming off back-to-back seasons with a 3-9 record and no bowl appearances since 2018.