Before he became one of the most decorated wide receivers in Clemson history, and then a projected first-round NFL draft pick, Mike Williams was a lanky athlete, albeit a very talented one, who wasn’t quite sure whether his future would be as a basketball or football player.
Needless to say Williams picked the right sport, and you all know the rest. The native of Vance, S.C., and former Lake Marion High standout compiled 177 receptions for 2,727 yards and 21 touchdowns over 42 career games (30 starters). He finished third in Clemson history in receiving touchdowns, fourth in receiving yards and fifth in receptions.
In this article, The Clemson Insider takes a look back at Williams and some opinions on him as a recruit:
When Williams emerged on the recruiting radar as a sophomore, he was still in the process of realizing that his future would be in football and not basketball, the sport he was once most passionate about.
He could have had success on the hardwood at the collegiate level, sure, but it was on the gridiron that he shined — and people who watched him knew it, perhaps before he did.
It didn’t take long for Williams to hit his stride as a high school football player, and once he hit the recruiting scene, he was there to say. Williams received his first offer from Clemson in May 2011, when he was sophomore. He wound up with other offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
During the recruiting process, Williams drew comparisons to current NFL star receivers Alshon Jeffery and A.J. Green.
Williams looked up to Jeffery, but many saw him more like Green.
“Look at the film and the 6-4, 185-pounder more closely favors another South Carolina prep star hoopster/football player – Summerville’s A.J. Green,” Brian Linder of the The Times and Democrat wrote in a December 2011 article.
Overall, scouts were intrigued by Williams’ athleticism and ball skills to go along with his frame — tools Williams put on full display during his prolific and memorable Clemson career.
“He is a developing as a full-time wide receiver, but with more reps could really be a mismatch on the jump ball,” ESPN’s Tom Luginbill wrote after Williams committed in July 2012. “This is a good player and pickup for the Tigers.”