set to make better early draft impression than Clarett
Assistant Sports Editor Ashley
Menzies is senior news-editorial journalism major
Maurice Clarett drew the line in the sand. He drew it
and made his stand. Clarett beat the mighty NFL. Brought
the whole league to its knees.
He drew that line and we waited to see who would come
across after him. Who would be the first man to come across
and be that other guy.
Who was that guy? Mike Williams. You know, the big, fast,
strong wide out for the real national champion Trojans
of Southern Cal. Yeah, hes that guy. Williams becomes
the first person to make himself eligible for the NFL
draft since Clarett beat the system.
Williams is the guy who gets an A on his test without
studying, while you studied for the entire night and got
a C. Williams is the guy who takes your girlfriend and
also befriends you at the same time. Williams is the guy
who shows up at the party and makes what youre wearing
Yeah, Williams is that guy.
Clarett didnt want Williams to be that guy.
People are already talking about Williams being a top
five pick in the April draft. Top five. Where were they
putting Clarett? Late-second to early-third round of the
This was suppose to be Clarrets coming-out party.
His show. His limelight. And Williams is casting a giant
6-foot-5-inch- 230-pound shadow in front of it.
Clarett, who missed a full season of playing football
due to a suspension (by the way, Williams didnt
miss a game his two years at USC), has been laxed in his
efforts in gaining entrance into the NFL. His workout
at the combine? Pushed back, because he didnt think
he was ready.
Yeah, that made a good impression on everyone Clarett.
It was a very selfish act on Claretts part. He wanted
all the owners and general managers to watch him and just
But you know what? Williams didnt make it to the
combine either. Not because he wanted a tryout for himself,
but because the league has to file paper work on him.
So what does that mean for Clarett?
That means Williams gets a tryout all to himself, too.
This is definitely not what Clarett wanted. He wanted
to have me and other sports writers writing stories about
him and what he can contribute to the league. Not writing
stories about the big, strong, fast Mike Williams.
Williams is the guy who should have been the first underclassman
to jump to the NFL. He is that good, that durable and
that ready. Clarett just opened the door, and can you
really blame Williams for taking advantage of it?
Clarett needed to make a good first impression before
something like this happened. But he didnt. Of course
he didnt. No one is really surprised by how Clarett
is acting. We all kind of expected it.
But an opportunity has presented itself to Clarett now
though. A big shiny present for him and a chance to do
something he has yet to do. And that is to show us something.
You have to show me something, Clarett. Show me, the owners,
general managers and the world that you want this, that
you are good for the NFL and that you are ready for the
To get out there and work hard and show the NFL scouts
he is a not a problem child and that he can work hard,
and he wont let another sophomore (who is also 3
1/2 months younger than Clarett) show him up.
People are in a stir about Williams entering the draft.
That pamphlet about Clarett? That is now the coaster they
are putting their coffee on while they read all about
This does not bode well for Clarett.
He has a chance though. A real chance to prove something.
But will he do it?
He wont. Hell show up at his workout, run
his 40, do his bench and do his interview. Then come draft
day every coach, general manger and owner will say, thanks,
but no thanks to Clarett. And everyone in the top
10 of the draft will be drooling, trying to figure out
a way to get that other guy.
Who was that other guy? Oh yeah, Mike Williams. Remember
Mike Williams (1) stands over UCLA's Matt Clark
(6) after scoring the first touchdown of the game
at Los Angeles Coliseum in California, on Nov. 22.
USC won 47-22.