University of Georgia

Auburn's Duke Williams misses practice on Friday

MATTHEW STEVENS

Montgomery Advertiser

Auburn is dealing with more drama involving D'haquille Williams.

The preseason All-Southeastern Conference wide receiver was absent from Friday’s practice. Tigers offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee refused to confirm any specifics to Williams’ absence but said after the practice that the senior receiver was dealing with “personal business” and his return is “ a day-to-day deal”. 

Lashlee initially attempted to downplay Williams’ absence with the media after Friday’s practice saying he would only “talk about the guys out there working out today”.

“They haven’t been frustrating at all,” Lashlee said about the continued incidents with Williams. “We got 105 kids on this team and they all got different things going on in their lives. We’re here to coach them but also mentor them through things. It’s just part of the process and he’s no different than other guys we’ve coached in the past.”

In the hope to build chemistry, Williams has noticeably been behind junior quarterback Jeremy Johnson during stretching each of the previous three days of open practices.

Williams is obviously expected to be Johnson’s top target in 2015 after leading the Tigers in catches (45) and touchdown receptions (4) in 10 games last season. The 6-foot-2, 224-pound receiver is projected to be a high pick in the 2016 NFL Draft according to many scouts and media services.

Williams was suspended from the 2015 Outback Bowl loss to Wisconsin due to what the school would only call a violation of team rules. According to reports, Williams posted a picture to Instagram showing what appeared to be an unconfirmed injury to his left eye. During the spring practice season, Williams posted some messages on Twitter in May leading many to speculate he was interested looking to transfer from the program. He later deleted those tweets in the same day he posted them.

"We've got to do a better job with what we tweet out," Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said in May.

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