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Former Washington State running back James Williams signs with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 7, 2019

Former WSU running back James Williams was all smiles on the sidelines during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, August 31, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Former WSU running back James Williams was all smiles on the sidelines during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, August 31, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – James Williams has agreed to terms with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and will restart his professional football career in the Canadian football League, the former Washington State running back announced on his social media accounts Thursday.

The Bombers added Williams ahead of their Western Semifinal playoff game against the Calgary Stampeders.

Williams, who left the Cougars after his junior season to enter the NFL Draft, was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, but didn’t make it through the summer with the team.

The Burbank, California, native held a number of workouts with various NFL teams and was signed by the Indianapolis Colts before being released less than two days later. Williams then negotiated a free agent deal with the Detroit Lions and played in the team’s preseason finale before being waived.

Williams was optimistic the Lions would retain him as a practice squad player, telling The Spokesman-Review before WSU’s season opener, “I don’t know, anything can happen. They said they like me and they said it’s a possibility, but we’ll just see. They just told me to stay in shape and if I get a call, be ready.”

Since he was cut by the Lions, Williams has been living in Lewiston with fiancée Rye Hewett and working out at a gym in the Lewis-Clark Valley.

The running back has also apparently cut ties with agent Eric Dickerson and is now working with Stellato Sports Agency, according to his Twitter account. Dickerson made headlines in April when he lashed out at Mike Leach, claiming the WSU coach “talked down” his client and said “We will not stand for NCAA coaches using their power to harm young men who are simply trying to help their families.”

Williams told the S-R he and Leach had mended fences, saying “I apologized for it because I did get in my feelings. I thought he went about the wrong way with me leaving. I told him I didn’t like that and I was in my feelings, but I wasn’t about to hold a grudge over it and burn bridges.”

Williams finished his career with the Cougars with 3,090 all-purpose yards and 27 total touchdowns.

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