- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Williams appeared in all 37 games of his Cal career -- starting 28 over the past three seasons. The All-Pac-12 honorable mention pick leaves with 150 career tackles, six interceptions and 31 passes defended.
“I had a tremendous experience at Cal and was given a wealth of opportunities both in football and in life," Williams said in a release through the school. "This was a difficult decision to make, but my family and I felt it was in our best interest and that this is the right time to take advantage of another set of opportunities we feel will be presented to us in the NFL."
Bakhtiari, a two-time second-team All-Pac-12 selection, appeared in 34 games for the Buffs and started 33 of them. He said his decision was not influenced by Colorado's coaching change and new head coach Mike MacIntyre and new offensive line coach Gary Bernardi both spoke with Bakhtiari prior to his decision.
"I sent in my draft evaluation form once it came back, there was a lot of deliberation with my family about what I wanted to do,” Bakhtiari said in a statement. “Such things as the goals I wanted to accomplish in college, and the goals I want to set for myself in the NFL. The evaluation came back and had me in the second to third round range for a pick, but I also received some good feedback from Steve Marshall [his O-line coach at CU] and [former] Coach [Jon] Embree who spoke with several of their contacts around the league, and they thought I might even go a little bit higher, and that helped, too.”
Two more Pac-12 players have opted to head to the NFL. Colorado offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and California defensive back Steve Williams have also declared.