Two-time All-American defensive end Leonard Williams will forgo his senior season at USC and enter the 2015 NFL draft, he announced today through the school.
“This was a very hard decision for me,” Williams said in a statement. “I love USC, Coach Sark and the coaching staff, my teammates and the fans, and I love the game of college football. It’s hard to leave all of that. I know life is never the same once you leave college. But I feel like it’s the right time for me to go. I feel like I’m ready. I’m looking forward to the new challenge that the NFL presents.”
Viewed as a lock to be a top-five pick, Williams is one of the very best prospects available this year, ranking second overall on CBSSports.com’s board, and first on ESPN.com’s. While the Buccaneers and Titans are considered good bets to take a long look at the top quarterbacks available, either team could consider Williams, and if they pass, Jacksonville would be a very realistic landing spot for the USC junior at No. 3. Jaguars beat writers Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com and Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union both published tweets in response to Williams’ announcement suggesting that GM David Caldwell would be very interested in the young defensive end.
Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier this month that Williams is believed to have already selected an agent based on a “long-standing family relationship.”