When Leonard Williams arrived on USC’s campus in 2012 many, including then head coach Lane Kiffin, called Williams a NFL prospect without him having played one college snap.
As a true freshman Williams recorded 64 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss while starting in nine of the Trojans’ 13 games.
In his sophomore season and at a new position, Williams responded with more dominant play, missing only the Nov. 9 game against Cal.
By the numbers: 73 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, four quarterback hurries
What went right: Williams increased his production in tackles and played through a shoulder injury in multiple games, including the physical Nov. 16 game against Stanford, where he had seven tackles.
He finished second on the team in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks.
Williams’ single-game high in tackles came on Oct. 10 against Arizona when he had 12.
What went wrong: It’s hard to find something that went “wrong” for Williams in his sophomore season, but one stat that sticks out is the number of games he had five tackles or less, which was the case in seven of the 13 games Williams played in.
Some of that can be attributed to opponent’s blocking schemes, but if Williams has aspirations to be one of the greatest lineman to play at USC, he will need to find a way to consistently shed double teams.
Williams also had a minor decrease in his total number of sacks.
After recording eight sacks during his freshman campaign, the number dropped to five in 2013.
What’s next: If Williams remains healthy and continues to increase his productivity, 2014 will likely mark his final season in a Trojan uniform.
Final Grade: A
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