USC junior wide receiver Damian Williams, who led the Trojans in receiving the past two seasons, will forgo his senior year of collegiate eligibility and declare for the NFL draft, he announced today.
"After a great deal of thoughtful discussion and prayer, I have decided that I will forego a fifth year of eligibility at USC and enter the 2010 NFL Draft," he said. "It was a difficult decision, but I am blessed to have some great people around me to counsel me, including my family and Coach Carroll.
"The NFL has been a dream of mine since I can remember and I feel that it is my time to take this step to the next level. I am proud to have earned my degree from USC, and that was an extremely important part of this decision for me and my family.
"I want to thank Mr. Garrett, our athletic director, Coach Carroll and the entire staff for preparing me to take this next step. I want to thank my teammates who will always be my Trojan family. I also want to thank the USC fans who embraced me and made me feel like home, and the Arkansas community who supported me throughout my career."
Williams was an All-Pac-10 first team selection in 2009 as both a wide receiver and punt returner. He also won All-American third team honors and was USC's team MVP in 2009. He had 70 receptions for 1,010 yards with 6 touchdowns this past season and was sixth nationally in punt returns with a 14.2 average. His 2 scoring punt returns were 1 shy of the school season record set in 1952. He was the Emerald Bowl Offensive MVP following his 12-catch, 189-yard performance.
As a sophomore in 2008 in his first year as a Trojan starter, he caught 58 passes for 869 yards with 9 TDs. The native of Springdale, Ark., sat out the 2007 season at USC after transferring from Arkansas, where he had 19 catches for 235 yards and 2 scores as a part-time starter.
He ranks 11th on USC's career receiving list with 128 receptions. He had 7 games in his Trojan career with 100-plus all-purpose yards.