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Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and running back Kyren Williams will skip the Fiesta Bowl and enter the NFL draft

SOUTH BEND, IND. — Kyle Hamilton and Kyren Williams, two junior stars for No. 5 Notre Dame, announced Friday that they will not play in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 9 Oklahoma State so they can prepare for the 2022 NFL draft.

The two were Associated Press preseason first-team All-Americans, Hamilton at safety and running back Williams as the all-purpose player. They also were two of Notre Dame’s seven captains during an 11-1 season.

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“Thank you Notre Dame,” tweeted the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Hamilton, who injured his right knee in Notre Dame’s 31-16 victory over USC on Oct. 23 and missed the final five games. In seven games, Hamilton had 35 tackles and three interceptions and broke up four passes.

He is expected to be an early first-round pick in the draft.

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“Glory to the Lord! DREAM BIG,” tweeted the 5-foot-9, 199-pound Williams, who rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns and had 42 receptions for 359 yards and three scores. He also returned punts and kickoffs, averaging 128.4 all-purpose yards per game.

Williams could be among the first running backs selected in the draft.

Notre Dame’s first practice for the Jan. 1 bowl game is Sunday under new coach Marcus Freeman.

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