USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams had a pretty good game against UCLA last week, but it wasn't enough to help the team slow down quarterback Brett Hundley and company in a 38-20 loss.
The loss dropped Williams to 0-3 against the Trojans' crosstown rivals, and such a record might end up being a motivating factor when it comes to his decision on whether to return to USC for his senior year.
Williams has been considered one of the top defensive linemen in the country ever since he arrived on campus from Florida three years ago and was named an All-American last season during USC's 10-win campaign.
Although his numbers aren't as spectacular as other star college players, Williams still is viewed as a top prospect because of his ability to play each spot along the defensive line. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently compared him to former Patriots All-Pro Richard Seymour, and a number of other NFL scouts believe he's a top-tier prospect based on what they've seen of him rushing the passer and causing havoc in the backfield.
"Before I went in there, I thought this guy had a lot of hype. When I saw him, I thought he is the real deal," one scout told Sports Illustrated. "He's got a great body, quick off the ball. He did have that shoulder surgery, so he's a little bit behind strength-wise, but he still has plenty of strength. He's got tremendous upside."
Given Williams's comments, perhaps quarterback Cody Kessler should step up his recruiting efforts for other USC underclassmen to return for one more year.
Either way, count Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian as somebody who will really preach that Williams should leave USC with at least one win over UCLA before his college career is over.