2009: The talented Williams, who runs precise routes and has glue-like hands, returns as a starting wide receiver as a junior in 2009.
2008: Williams emerged as USC's leading wide receiver as a sophomore in 2008. Overall in 2008 while appearing in all 13 games and starting 9 times (all but Virginia, Oregon State, California and Stanford), he led USC in receptions and receiving yardage as he caught 58 passes for 869 yards (15.0 avg.) with 9 TDs. His 58 receptions ranks 16th on USC's season list. He also ran 4 reverses for 43 yards (10.8 avg.) and returned a punt for minus 1 yard. He sprained his right shoulder at UCLA and missed half of that game. He made 2008 All-Pac-10 honorable mention, Phil Steele's All-Pac-10 second team and College Football News Sophomore All-American honorable mention and won USC's John McKay Award.
He had 7 receptions for 91 yards (both game highs) at Virginia, then caught 2 third-quarter TDs (24 and 17 yards) and ended up with 4 receptions for 43 yards against Ohio State. He had a game-best 6 catches for 94 yards (with a 29-yard TD) at Oregon State, added 4 grabs for 76 yards (with a 34-yard score) against Oregon and had 23 yards on 2 receptoins against Arizona State. He had a 32-yard grab at Washington State, then had 5 catches for 77 yards and also ran a reverse 6 yards at Arizona. He had 2 catches for 9 yards against Washington, 4 receptions for 67 yards versus California, 4 receptions for 35 yards (with a 5-yard TD) and also a 14-yard run on a reverse at Stanford, 7 catches for 86 yards (both game highs) with a 12-yard TD against Notre Dame and 3 receptions for 68 yards, with a 12-yard TD, at UCLA. He had career bests with 10 receptions for 162 yards (with a 27-yard TD) against Penn State (the most catches and yards by a Trojan since Dwayne Jarrett had 11 for 205 in the 2007 Rose Bowl against Michigan).
2007: Williams, a wide receiver who transferred to USC in the spring of 2007 from Arkansas, sat out the 2007 season because of NCAA transfer rules as a sophomore. He tore a ligament in his shoulder during 2007 spring practice and sat out most of spring drills. He had post-spring surgery on both shoulders, which limited him in 2007.
ARKANSAS: He started 5 games at flanker for Arkansas as a first-year freshman in 2006. Overall in 2006 while appearing in all 13 games, he caught 19 passes (second on the team) for 235 yards (12.4 avg.) with 2 TDs, plus he had a 5-yard run and made 3 tackles. He had 4 catches for 61 yards (both season highs) in the 2006 opener against USC. He was named to the 2006 The Sporting News Freshman All-American third team, The Sporting News Freshman All-SEC and SEC Coaches Freshman All-SEC squads.
HIGH SCHOOL: He prepped at Springdale (Ark.) High, where as a 2005 senior wide receiver, running back and defensive back he earned Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, EA Sports All-American second team, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Old Spice Red Zone Player of the Year, Super Prep All-Southwest, Prep Star All-Southeast, Little Rock Touchdown Club State Co-MVP, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-State Co-Offensive MVP, Northwest Arkansas Morning News All-State Offensive MVP and Landers Award (top Arkansas prep football student-athlete). He caught 63 passes for 1,495 yards (23.7 avg.) with 24 TDs, ran for 463 yards on 31 carries (14.9 avg.) with 12 TDs and had 8 kickoff returns for 254 yards (31.8 avg.) with 2 TDs on offense and made 25 tackles and 3 interceptions (1 for a TD) on defense in 2005 despite missing several games with injuries. Springdale went 14-0 in 2005, won the Arkansas state championship and finished No. 2 nationally.
As a 2004 junior, he made All-State as he caught 31 passes for 545 yards (17.6 avg.) with 4 TDs, rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries (7.2 avg.) with 2 TDs, returned 2 kickoffs for 116 yards (58.0 avg.) and averaged 13.1 yards on punt returns.
He also played baseball at Springdale, helping his team to the Class 5A-West title as a sophomore. Current Trojan Mitch Mustain also prepped at Springdale High and attended Arkansas.
PERSONAL: He's a sociology major at USC. He and Mustain founded a campus Bible study group, Generate USC.
DAMIAN WILLIAMS ON: His goal: "I just want to make sure I stay consistent. That's one thing people, especially receivers, struggle with--being consistent. So that's what I want to do."
Having Mitch Mustain as a longtime teammate: "It's always good to just have people from your home state, but with Mitch it's different because we've known each other for so long. It's been great. When I'm having a hard day, he can tell, and I can tell when there's something not right with him. It's really comforting...We have that chemistry. We've been playing together forever. We don't even need to talk about something, you just kind of know."
Playing at USC: "I love it here. They always say when you play football, you want to have fun. I don't know that there is another school that takes it to this level. It doesn't matter what kind of day I'm having, when I get out on the practice field, I have a blast."
Los Angeles: "I'd never seen real traffic jams, except accidents, until I got to Los Angeles. It's crazy."
The Bible study group he and Mustain started: "We're with athletes all the time. But you don't get to see the bigger picture and the bigger issues that everybody has. When people come, they bring their personal lives and leave it at the door and we let God handle it. Everybody comes together."
WHAT OTHERS SAY: USC head coach Pete Carroll: "Damian has outstanding downfield ability and his catch-and-run is good. He's got a nice feel for getting open inside...He's got a savvy about him. He understands the game beautifully...He has a natural feel for the position because he does everything well. He's a quick study in everything...He's a lot like (former USC All-American) Steve Smith, who could do everything and learn the whole offense and know everybody's routes. He's a guy you can count on...He's consistently a guy who can find the open spots, get himself in the right place. The quarterbacks trust him and he's going to make good decisions for them...And he doesn't look like it, but he's a physical player."
USC quarterback Mitch Mustain: "He's intelligent, which really helps him. He's able to see things and make things happen...He's willing to put in the time, above and beyond. He comes out and knows every position. That says a lot about his work ethic and the pride he has in his work."
Former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez: "Talk about big-play ability, that's Damian...He deserves every bit of his success because he works harder than anybody. He's in the film room late, he's asking questions and it's paying off for him. USC lucked out in having him come here. He's got soft hands and he's a great person. His personality is infectious."
GAME-BY-GAME WITH DAMIAN WILLIAMS