Heisman Trophy runnerup Mike Williams, who along with Maurice Clarett failed to become eligible for the NFL draft in April, will announce that he intends to return to USC to play his junior season, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
Agent Mike Azzarelli told the Times he would not pursue legal action against the NFL to allow Williams into the league.
"At this point, the best thing for him to do is pursue reinstatement," Azzarelli told the newspaper.
Williams, and All-American, declared himself eligible for the NFL draft and hired Azzarelli in February, thus forfeiting his final two seasons at USC. Williams made the move after a U.S. district judge ruled that former Clarett and all underclassmen were eligible for the draft.
However, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on the earlier ruling and ultimately overturned it May 24.
Williams filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, saying the NFL issued conflicting statements about eligibility for the draft, thus causing him to sacrifice his college career.
In order for USC to apply to the NCAA for Williams' reinstatement, the star must prove that he has severed ties with Azzarelli and that he has repaid all benefits.
Williams was projected as a high first-round pick, while Clarett might not have been taken until the second or third round.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Williams had two years of eligibility remaining for the defending national champion Trojans. He said after USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl he planned to stay in school, but then came the Clarett ruling.
Although Clarett never announced he hired an agent, there have been reports he did. He was never cleared by Ohio State or the NCAA to play after being suspended last year for accepting money from a family friend and for lying about it to NCAA and university investigators.
Williams caught 95 passes for 1,314 yards and a school-record 16 touchdowns as the Trojans (12-1) won The Associated Press national championship.
As a freshman, he caught 81 passes for 1,265 yards and 13 TDs from Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer in 2002.
NCAA has made exceptions in special circumstances before (allowing the Olympic skier/Colorado Receiver to play if he met specific stipulations). I expect Williams to be back in a USC jersey for one more go around. Not good news for my WSU Cougars...