NC State's Williams to enter NFL draft

Updated: January 3, 2006, 12:30 PM ET
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams will give up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft after a season in which he led the Atlantic Coast Conference in sacks.

The decision by the 6-foot-7, 290-pounder on Tuesday had been expected.

"I really have to face the fact that I'm leaving a great family here," Williams said during a news conference attended by coach Chuck Amato. "I'm going to be in the real world now."

Williams had two sacks to help the Wolfpack beat South Florida 14-0 last week in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, giving him a school-record 26 for his career. He had 13 sacks this season as a junior and finished his career with 55½ tackles for loss -- both NC State records.

"As a parent and as a coach, you always hate to see an athlete leave before they get an education," Amato said. "That being said, I 100 percent support this young man's decision."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press