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February 25, 2004

Big Mike Williams Makes History


Mike Williams was the most dynamic receiver in USC history. He would have needed very little time in his 3rd year at Troy to smash all of the receiving records at this great University. Unfortunately that will not happen as Mike has decided to enter the NFL draft.

Williams is the first underclassman to enter the draft. He was able to because Maurice Clarett's case forced the NFL to change their eligibility rules.

Mike had 30 touchdowns, 176 catchs for 2,570 yards in his two short seasons at USC. He also threw a touchdown pass in the Rose Bowl victory against Michigan.

Hopefully Trojan fans can sit back and remember all of the great memories that Mike provided us. He was a real difference maker on the field and all of us wish him luck in the upcoming draft.

I just wanted to briefly share with you my first memories with Mike Williams. He was only here a short time but he helped bring Trojan football back to National prominence.

Back in August of 2002 I was down at Howard Jones checking out the Trojans practice. They were getting ready for the season and all of the incoming freshmen were getting their first taste of Trojan football.

The receiver drills are always fun to check out. They line up on either side of the field and quarterbacks will throw them passes on a variety of routes. People wanted to see Keary Colbert and Kareem Kelly, but there was this new guy wearing #19 who everyone was checking out.

Fans were whispering on the sidelines about the new kid and eventually it came around that Mike Williams was his name. He was huge and easily stood out from the other new receivers and even the returning veterans. People very quickly started to take an interest in #19 and you could tell right away that this was a special player.

It wasn't like Mike was making diving catches all over the field, but his presence was something I had not seen since Keyshawn Johnson's time. He was a legitimate monster size wise, and was relatively unknown since his high school offense focused on the running game.

He had solid hands, made tons of plays and really just came out of nowhere. It was almost as if the tooth fairy came down and left a Junior College All-American wide out under Norm Chow's pillow. But Mike was no JC transfer; he was 18 years old and 3000 miles from home doing what Pete Carroll had recruited him to do, catch footballs.

It didn't take long for Mike's story to get out. He switched to #1 and the rest is history. Keary Colbert commented after the Rose Bowl that his record as the all-time pass catcher at USC would fall next year to Williams. As much as we love Keary, we all would have loved to see that happen.

We all wish you the best of luck Mike Williams. You are a Trojan for life and you wont be forgotten.


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