Looks like Mike Williams will be back against Cincinnati this weekend after his suspension by Doug Marrone.
And the ‘Cuse sure could use him; on the field and off.
He leads the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He immediately makes the offensive more explosive downfield, prevents the Bearcats from simply stacking the box with every safety and linebacker on the roster and gives Mr. Paulus/Nassib Quarterback Combo an every down security blanket.
But beyond his stats, Williams gives Doug Marrone even more: A name on draft day.
As ESPN and NFL Network expand their broadcast to reach three days and nights of draft coverage (all of the important picks in primetime), there are more chances than ever to reach recruits and brand SU football.
Kevin Johnson was a solid NFL contributer. David Tyree had the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. But Williams could be the best wideout on The Hill since future Hall-of-Famer Marvin Harrison.
Remember, while Syracuse has an incredible runningback tradition, the receiver lineage was much more tangible in the 80s and 90s.
Jim Brown and Floyd Little, Ernie Davis, Larry Csonka and Jim Nance were your dad’s stuff.
Art Monk and Rob Moore and Marvin Harrison were your older brother’s icons.
Williams is top-10 nationally in average yards and receptions per game. He has a big frame, good hands and explosive speed. NFL scouts think he has next-level talent.
Seeing a Syracuse name float across the ticker while the man under Mel Kiper Jr.’s hair helmet brags about his “upside” and pro-day at the Carrier Dome is invaluable to a program looking to gain traction.
Now he needs to stay on the field. Won’t help in April if he’s in the doghouse in October.