2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Merrick, New Yor
Mike Williams, WR, Southern California
Height: 6:04.5 Weight: 229
Overview: Highly recruited after his stellar prep career, Williams opted to bypass the prestigious Florida universities to attend USC. Asked about his decision, Williams said, "The Florida schools just did not think I could play wide receiver. They thought I was too big and not fast enough or whatever. At USC, they had a clear-cut picture of what I could do." Despite playing only one season with Williams, former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer had this to say about his former teammate, "Mike is a tremendous talent. He's real mature and the type of guy that makes quarterbacks look real good. I know that all I had to do was put it (the ball) up there and he was going to go get it." Williams was a standout receiver at Plant (Tampa, Fla.) High School, earning Tom Lemming All-American, Super Prep All-Dixie, Prep Star All-Southeast Region, St. Petersburg Times All-Suncoast second-team and Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County first-team honors as a senior. He had 38 receptions for 789 yards (20.8 avg) with 12 touchdowns in 2001. As a junior, he made the All-State Class 4A second-team while catching 35 passes for 803 yards (22.9 avg) with 12 scores. Williams also played basketball, averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 2002. As a junior, he earned Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County first-team laurels as he averaged 14.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists while helping his team to the state semifinals. He only started two games as a true freshman in 2002, but ranked 16th nationally in receiving yards (97.3, fifth in Pac-10) and 20th in catches (6.2, third in Pac-10). His 14 touchdown grabs was second most in the nation and his 81 catches rank fourth on USC's single-season record list. Williams had five 100-yard receiving games, including a stretch of four in a row, the most by a Trojan since Keyshawn Johnson had twelve in a row in 1994 and 1995. He totaled 1,265 yards receiving that year, earning Freshman All-American first-team honors from The Sporting News and Scripps/Football Writers Association. He was also named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year. In 2003, Williams was a consensus All-American first-team selection, becoming the team's first All-American wide receiver since Keyshawn Johnson in 1995 and the first USC sophomore honoree since Tony Boselli in 1992. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (nation's top receiver) and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Williams started every game at split end, leading the team with 95 receptions for 1,314 yards (13.8 avg) and 16 touchdowns. Only Keyshawn Johnson (102 in 1995) had more catches in a season for the Trojans. His 1,314 yards rank fourth on the school's season-record list behind Johnson (1,362 in 1994 and 1,434 in 1995) and Johnnie Morton (1,520 in 1993). His 16 scoring grabs broke the old mark of 14, set by Williams in 2002 and by Morton in 1993. Williams gained over 100 yards in seven contests, one short of the USC single-season record of eight by Johnson in 1994. He ranked sixth in the nation with an average of 7.31 receptions per game and tenth with an average of 101.08 yards receiving per game, and his 16 touchdown catches ranked second among the nation's receivers behind Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald (22). Those 16 scores were the most in the Pac-10 in 2003 and were the most by a Trojan in a season since Marcus Allen scored 23 in 1981. He finished his career with 176 receptions for 2,579 yards (14.6 avg) and 30 touchdowns. His 30 scoring grabs are two short of the Pac-10 Conference record of 32, set by Ken Margerum of Stanford (1977-80). He became the first player in school history to catch over 80 passes in a season twice in a career, and joined Johnson (1,362 in 1994 and 1,434 in 1995) as the only Trojans to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in a season twice in a career. His 176 catches are topped only by Morton (201, 1990-93), Kareem Kelly (204, 1999-2002) and Keary Colbert (207, 2000-03) on the school's all-time record list. His 2,579 yards rank sixth in Trojans annals behind R. Jay Soward (2672, 1996-99), Johnson (2796), Colbert (2964), Morton (3201) and Kelly (3104).
Analysis: Positives...Tall, long-limbed with a well-developed, muscular frame, good bubble, tight waist and thick thighs and calves...Smooth and efficient in his release, using his long arms and strength to quickly defeat the press, driving hard with his legs to beat the jam...Runs tight upfield routes and does a nice job of using swim moves and a stutter-step to shake off the cornerbacks working in the short area...Has outstanding field vision, doing a great job of finding the sideline and adjusting his body to keep his feet in bounds...Gets good depth through his routes and quickly recognizes the coverage working in the zone...Has good hip-sink agility that allows him to get good quickness coming out of his breaks...His vertical speed and size poses match-up problems for the smaller defensive backs...Can uncover and position his big body and use his long arms to make the plays on underneath routes...Knows how to set up the corner-back with his head fakes and change of direction agility on short routes...Outstanding hands catcher who uses his height advantage and long arms to fight for the ball in traffic...Able to run, adjust and jump for the ball in a crowd (especially effective adjusting to the ball over his shoulder, but also excels at the high, low and behind tosses)...Has some wiggle and good strength to drive through arm tackles, finding the crease with his stop-and-go action to take the ball to the house...Sells his routes well and uses moves to gain separation...Has very soft hands and is an above average leaper with good timing and high-point agility to win the jump ball...Has a good feel for coming back on under-throws and draws a lot of interference calls...Shields defenders well, is reliable making catches across the middle or through traffic and holds on upon contact.
Negatives...Despite his size and strength, he does not show aggression when asked to block (will position and get in the way, but will not stalk)...Strong runner, but sometimes takes time to get back to speed after the catch...More of a soft angle cutter in the short area...Could snap off and accelerate out of his breaks a little better at times but looks pretty polished in his pattern running...Not a burner and doesn't show a great gear of acceleration, but he gets behind defenses with a strong vertical push and positions himself well on the deep ball...In the short area, he is more of soft angle cutter...Has had weight issues in the past and could eventually grow into a tight end...Did not have any issues with teammates, but did not exactly have a team-first work ethic...Does not always utilize double moves in the zone and needs to be more alert of coverage assignments in this area.
Agility tests: CAMPUS-- 4.56 in the 40-yard dash...345-pound bench press...37-inch vertical jump...10'1" broad jump...4.34 20-yard shuttle...6.84 three-cone drill. COMBINE-- 4.57 in the 40-yard dash...1.62 10-yard dash...2.69 20-yard dash...36.5-inch vertical jump... 34 1/8-inch arm length...8 7/8-inch hands...20 Wonderlic score.
High school: Attended Plant (Tampa, Fla.) High, earning Tom Lemming All-American, Super Prep All-Dixie, Prep Star All-Southeast Region, St. Petersburg Times All-Suncoast second-team and Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County first- team as a senior wide receiver...Had 38 receptions for 789 yards (20.8 avg) with 12 touchdowns in 2001...As a junior, he made the All-State Class 4A second-team while catching 35 passes for 803 yards (22.9 avg) with 12 scores...Added 28 catches for 631 yards (22.5 avg) as a sophomore...Also played basketball, averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 2002...As a junior, he earned Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County first-team laurels as he averaged 14.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists while helping his team to the state semifinals.
Personal: General Studies major...Born 1/04/84...Resides in Tampa, Florida.
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