"@ADHaden: I have been around USC for over 40 years... Leonard is one of the top 5 players I have seen. He is that good."
Haden isn't alone in that thought.
Plenty of NFL personnel have been to USC games and practices to watch sophomore defensive end Leonard Williams.
The consensus? He's not just a first round pick; he could very well be a top pick when he leaves USC for the draft.
Williams, 6-foot-5 290-pounds, has played in ten games for the Trojans this season. He was sidelined at California due to a shoulder injury. Through the ten games, he's second on the team with 63 tackles -- 11 for a loss. Quite the feat, for a defensive end. He's also tallied five quarterback sacks.
Asked Wednesday after practice what the compliment meant from Haden, Williams responded in the humblest of manners. "I think it's great to have my athletic director think so highly of me," he said. "But I never see it in myself."
Williams quickly pointed to his teammates who play alongside him, almost perplexed as to how he could be deemed better than them, though admitting interim head coach Ed Orgeron and defensive line coach Pete Jenkins have both told him he's one of the great players they've coached.
"He's a great player," Orgeron said after Tuesday's practice.
"I'm never happy with where I'm at," Williams said. "I work with Pete Jenkins everyday, no matter how good I did the game before, he's going to show me something I have to improve on so it's not just me that has to work on something better -- they make sure I'm aware [how to get] better all the time.
"I never get complacent."