There had not been a wide-out as highly regarded as Mike Williams since Keyshawn Johnson left USC for the NFL.
Mike Williams was a dynamic playmaker who had great hands and rewrote the record books at USC.
As a Freshman, in 2002-2003, Mike Williams set USC and Pac 10 Freshman marks for receptions (81), yardage (1,265) and touchdowns (14).
Proving that his Freshman year was not a fluke he went out in his sophomore year and caught 95 passes for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Check out this footage of him playing QB. He may have even been the best QB on his team if not for two guys named Palmer and Leinart.
After his Sophomore season he stood at the top of the College Football World. Unfortunately for him, it was all about to change.
His name would go from being linked to names like Leinart, Palmer and Keyshawn to being associated with Maurice Clarett.
After being suspended by Ohio State University for the 2003 season for filing a false police report stating that $10,000 in valuables were stolen from a car he was "borrowing" from a local dealership, Clarett challenged the NFL's Draft policy, stating that players could not enter the draft until they have been out of High School for 3 Years.
His attempt was successful, at first, and Mike Williams joined Clarett as underclassmen who were entering the draft. Once Williams hired and agent he could not re-enter USC.
Clarett's victory was overruled and the NFL's policy was upheld. That left Williams out in the cold for what would have been a stellar Junior Season at USC. He missed out on a College Championship and the ability to play with Leinart for one more season.
His talent was so great that he was drafted with the 10th pick of the 2005 draft by the Detroit Lions after being out of football for a whole season.
His stay with Detroit was very much like Jerry Porter's 2006 season.
Williams was in the coach's dog house and he never made it out.
Many see his trade to the Raiders as another malcontent being shipped out to a bad team that is willing to take a chance on him.
I see it as a potential re-birth for Mike Williams.
One of the closest people to him in all of football is Lane Kiffin.
Lane recruited him to USC and was apparently on his speed dial as both men have stated that Williams would call "SOM" to talk when he got down.
Perhaps this is where Mike Williams will regain the form that made him a TOP NFL prospect. If Williams blossoms in Oakland that would mean the Oakland draft of 2007 will have netted another TOP talent and filled a necessary hole with the soon to be departed Randy Moss.
He has gotten off to a slow start so far. He hurt his hammy as soon as the optional camps got underway.
Hamstring injuries are a particular nuisance to guys who make a living out of their legs. They seem to never get better unless they get a lot of rest. The 7 weeks off should allow him to be ready to compete when camp opens.
I know that as a Raider fan I am pulling for him to be healthy.