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Syracuse's Williams says he'll be back for '09

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

New Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone is trying to land some impact players on the recruiting trail, but he might have already received the best skill player he could find.

Receiver Mike Williams told Syracuse.com's Ryan Miller that he's back in good academic standing and will be back on the team in January. Williams was a second-team All-Big East performer in 2007 but missed this year after violating Syracuse's academic integrity policy. Williams considered transferring to an FCS school but instead stayed at Syracuse and said he got all B's this past semester.

"It bettered me overall. I didn't treat it as a joke at SU, but overlooked some of the opportunities that I had," Williams said. "It's a privilege to have a full scholarship. I'm from a very bad place and you don't get many opportunities. That's why this second one I'm going to make well worth it in school and football. I've been working real hard."

Williams' story has been a saga for several months, so skepticism should prevail until he's actually back in uniform. But if he does come back, he gives the Orange a desperately-needed playmaker in the passing game, which will be especially important if Marrone opens the offense up as expected.

"I have to prove myself again. I'm not going to be another athlete who messed up his chances," Williams said. I'm going to cherish my time. You don't have a job before you have the interview and this is my interview. They say hard work pays off, and if that's true it's going to be a better Mike Williams."