So, it happened.
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, he’s 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 you’re wearing look good.
Yeah, Williams is that guy.
Clarett didn’t 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 draft.
This was suppose to be Clarret’s 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 didn’t 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 didn’t think he was ready.
Yeah, that made a good impression on everyone Clarett.
It was a very selfish act on Clarett’s part. He wanted all the owners and general managers to watch him and just him.
But you know what? Williams didn’t 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 didn’t. Of course he didn’t. 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 NFL.
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 won’t 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 Williams.
This does not bode well for Clarett.
He has a chance though. A real chance to prove something. But will he do it?
He won’t. He’ll 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 that name.
Assistant Sports Editor Ashley Menzies is senior news-editorial journalism major from Aledo.