Notre Dame’s Leading Rusher, All-American Safety Opt Out of Fiesta Bowl

The Fighting Irish will be without an All-American and their leading rusher against the Cowboys.

Safety Kyle Hamilton and running back Kyren Williams announced Friday they were opting out of the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State to begin preparations for the NFL Draft. The Cowboys and Fighting Irish are set to play Jan. 1 in Arizona.

Hamilton is a projected Top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Hamilton hasn’t played for the Irish since their Oct. 23 game against USC because of a knee injury. Despite missing time, Hamilton was named one of four finalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defender in college football. He has 34 total tackles and three interceptions this season. CBS Sports’ most recent mock draft has Hamilton going seventh overall to the New York Giants

Williams has rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He scored seven touchdowns in Notre Dame’s four games in November. Notre Dame’s second-leading rusher is quarterback Tyler Buchner with 336 yards. Sophomore Chris Tyree and freshman Logan Diggs have handled backup running back duties, having combined for only 404 rushing yards and four scores.

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