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Mike Williams announces intention to enter 2017 NFL Draft

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Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams confirmed on Wednesday that he intends to apply for early eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Williams thanked coach Dabo Swinney and Tigers fans via Twitter in his parting message.

Williams (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) is considered one of the top prospects in college football. He uses his size to make tough, contested downfield catches, and posted two 1,000-yard seasons in his CU career. He caught 98 passes for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns in a 14-1 national championship year for Clemson, after overcoming a neck fracture that cost him almost the entire 2015 season.

Williams has been compared to former Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, and a Giants scout said in September that Williams is already playing on an NFL level. Swinney has described him as a more complete draft prospect than former Clemson star DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans. Williams told College Football 24/7 after Clemson's 35-31 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff title game on Monday night that his decision had been made for some time.

"That's the best way to leave, with a national championship," Williams said. "... I always knew (I would apply for the draft)."

Williams is a fourth-year junior and earned his undergraduate degree last month. College underclassmen have until a Monday deadline to file for early draft eligibility.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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