Freshman defensive end Leonard Williams of Daytona Beach Mainland High is having quite the breakout in his first year of college football at Southern Cal.
Leonard, a monster 6-foot-5, 270-pound lineman, has worked himself into the starting lineup for the Trojans, college football's preseason No. 1-ranked team.
Leonard has played in all seven USC games and is ninth on the team with 20 tackles, including 12 solo stops. He is second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss, second in sacks with 5.5, has two fumble recoveries, two pass deflections and two passes broken up.
Williams got a little more attention than he was looking for this week during a 50-6 rout of Colorado. Williams was ejected from the game after being flagged for a flagrant personal foul. That penalty would usually mean another game suspension, but Pac-12 rules.
The conference, however, looked at the replay and determined that Williams was reacting to being spit on by a Colorado player and that Williams would serve no suspension.
Williams told the Los Angeles Times, "It just happened so quick. I wasn't really thinking. I can't take it back. What's done is done and I'm just trying to move forward."
USC head coach Lane Kiffin also told the Times that Williams apologized to the team Saturday.
"It was a learning moment for a true freshman," Kiffin said. "I can't imagine it ever happening again."
"I just won't let that happen again."
The No. 1-ranked player in the Florida Top 100 last year, ATH Nelson Agholor of Tampa Berkeley Prep, also plays at USC and he has seven receptions in seven games as a receiver.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun