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Damian Williams (born May 26, 1988) is a college football wide receiver for the University of Southern Californiamarker Trojans.

High school career

Williams attended high school at Springdale High School under head coach Malzahn. During his senior year, he played wide receiver, running back and defensive back and earned accolades as an All-American, catching 63 passes for 1,495 yards with 24 touchdowns, running for 463 yards on 31 carries with 12 touchdowns and had eight kickoff returns for 254 yards with two touchdowns on offense, while also making 25 tackles and 3 interceptions (one for a touchdown) on defense despite missing several games with injuries. Springdale went 14-0 in 2005, won the Arkansas state championship and finished No. 2 nationally.

Williams initially planned on attending the University of Floridamarker, but, in February 2006, switched to Arkansas, joining three other star teammates who had already committed.

College career

Arkansas

Growing up in Springdale, Arkansasmarker, Williams began his college career at nearby Arkansasmarker, joining Springdale High Schoolmarker teammates and star recruits, quarterback Mitch Mustain, and tight end Ben Cleveland. Head coach Houston Nutt's Razorbacks football team had hired the trio's high school coach, Gus Malzahn, as his offensive coordinator a few months before signing day. As a first-year freshman, Williams started 5 games for the Razorbacks and appeared in all 13 games, catching 19 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns while ranking second in receptions on the team. He was honored as a 2006 Sporting News Freshman All-American third team and Freshman All-SEC.

By the latter half of the 2006 season, the Razorbacks' offense had become run-oriented, behind star running back Darren McFadden. In mid-December, Williams' parents, along with those of two other freshmen, met with Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles to raise concerns that their sons might not be a good fit for the Razorbacks' system when they had been used to a pass oriented, spread offense under Malzahn's tenure at Springdale. Soon after the meeting, Williams asked for a release to transfer to another school and it was granted; by early January 2007, he decided to transfer to USC, entering in the spring semester. Malzahn soon left to join the coaching staff at Tulsamarker and Mustain later joined his teammate at USC.

Southern California

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Williams was required to sit out a season; however, Williams was permitted to play on the scout team and take a redshirt year. He tore a ligament in his shoulder during 2007 spring practice and sat out most of spring drills, then had post-spring surgery on both shoulders, limiting his practice time during the 2007 season.

During the 2008 spring practice, Williams impressed and quickly climbed to be a starting receiver for the Trojans going into the 2008 season. He developed into one of quarterback Mark Sanchez' primary receivers, catching 48 passes for 707 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. In the 2009 Rose Bowl, Williams made 10 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown.

References

  1. Receiver Williams will be given his release to transfer, Associated Press, December 14, 2006, Accessed October 21, 2008.
  2. Receiver Williams will be given his release to transfer, Associated Press, December 14, 2006, Accessed October 21, 2008.
  3. Receiver Williams will be given his release to transfer, Associated Press, December 14, 2006, Accessed October 21, 2008.
  4. Gary Klein, Arkansas receiver to transfer to USC, Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2007, Accessed October 21, 2008.
  5. David Wharton, USC suits Damian Williams after frustration at Arkansas , Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2008, Accessed October 21, 2008.
  6. David Wharton, USC suits Damian Williams after frustration at Arkansas, Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2008, Accessed October 21, 2008.
  7. Gary Klein, Damian Williams says he's returning to USC for 2009, Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2008, Accessed Accessed February 16, 2009.
  8. Adam Rose, World, meet Damian Williams, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009, Accessed February 16, 2009.


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