Rawleigh Williams returned to the football field last season after a broken neck only after assurances from doctors.

A second scare that left him sprawled out on the Razorbacks' indoor practice field last week has ended his career.

Williams announced his decision to walk away from football in an article on the school's website on Monday, prematurely ending the career for one of the most promising young running backs in college football.

"It still doesn't seem real yet, but I really don't have a choice," Williams wrote. "I've dodged the bullet twice. I realize that at the end of the day I want to live a normal life and be around my family."

Williams, who was third in the Southeastern Conference with 1,360 yards rushing last season, suffered what Coach Bret Bielema called a "stinger" during the team's final spring practice a week ago. He fell to the ground after a light hit during a partial-contact portion of practice, remaining there while trainers rushed to his side before loading him onto a stretcher and then taking him to the hospital in an ambulance.

That came a year and a half after the 5-foot-10, 226-pound running back was originally injured as a freshman against Auburn in 2015.

Williams' family was on hand for last week's practice and was clearly shaken by the sight. Williams and his family met doctors and later with Bielema before arriving at the decision to not risk a permanently disabling injury.

Williams said he was barely able to feel his hand and that it was really weak immediately after his latest injury. He said feeling in his body began to return quickly but also that he knew the injury "was similar enough" to his previous neck injury.

"The first thing I thought when it all happened was the reaction of my mom, dad, sister and brother," Williams said. "I didn't want them to go through this all over again. I just wanted to stand up to calm them down and show them that I was OK."

Williams said he has watched a replay of the latest hit, and that because it was a normal hit he now understands that "any little thing can trigger it."

"I also saw the reaction of my mom and my sister," Williams said. "That broke my heart. I can't do this anymore. I want to be able to walk."

NCAA APPROVES EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: High school seniors can now sign football letters of intent in December in addition to the traditional signing period that starts the first Wednesday of February.

The Collegiate Commissioners Association on Monday announced its approval of the new signing period, the last step in the process of implementing a package of reforms passed by the NCAA in April. The CCA administers the national letter of intent and therefore had final say in whether to adopt the early signing period. Approval was expected as some of the conference commissioners were also involved in crafting and pushing for the recruiting reforms.

College football's first early signing period is scheduled for Dec. 20-22, 2017, coinciding with the first three days of the initial date of the football midyear junior college transfer NLI signing period.

The early letter-of-intent signing period is part of comprehensive legislation that also permits high school juniors to take official visits from April through June and imposes a two-year waiting period before FBS schools can hire people close to recruits to non-coaching positions. The reforms also put restrictions on where and when Division I coaches can participate in summer camps and increases the number of on-field assistants in football from nine to 10, effective in January.

TEBOW, ESPN AGREE TO DEAL: ESPN and Tim Tebow have agreed to a multiyear contract extension the network announced on Monday.

Tebow will continue as an analyst on SEC Network’s college football pre-game show “SEC Nation.”

The former Florida quarterback and Heisman trophy winner will also be available to provide commentary across the ESPN landscape in regards to college football.

Tebow played football at Florida from 2006-2009. He was part of two national championship teams and won the Heisman Trophy in 2008.

After being drafted in the 2010 NFL draft, Tebow played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, while also participating in training camps with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.

Tebow is currently playing minor-league baseball in the New York Mets farm system with the Single-A affiliate Columbia Fireflies.

The contract extension will allow him to continue chasing his baseball dream.