USC Defender Admits 'Battling a Form of Depression' after Tragic Injury

Although Williams ACL tear has been tough to grapple with mentally, the junior defender remains optimistic with a 'positive spirit'.
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Redshirt sophomore Max Williams was ready to make a name for himself this season. 

After seeing action in 2020 at nickleback and on special teams, the third year defender was looking to make noise in 2021. Unfortunately for Williams, he suffered a ACL tear during spring practice earlier this month which will put him out for the remainder of spring ball. 

[READ: More on Max Williams Injury]

Williams father, Maxzell Williams took to twitter to confirm the news about his son.

He wrote, "As a parent one of the worse feelings in the world is when your child is hurting. Unfortunately with that being said my son Max Williams III tore his ACL at yesterday’s USC practice. We’ve been down this road b4 and back to the road to recovery." 

Clay Helton told the media during press availability on April 10, that Williams injury was "just gut wrenching for Max."

"All of our souls hurt. You're talking about a pro's pro, and an unbelievable teammate. One of the more mentally tough kids that I've ever been around in my 26 years [of coaching]. He's been through this once, I know his mental toughness will shine again and he will be back out there. I think it was hard on all of us especially Max to see how hard he has worked, how productive he was for our team last year, and then to lose him." [Helton]

Williams admitted that this injury has been tough on his mental health, despite dealing with a similar injury in high school. 

The California native underwent surgery on Tuesday, and took to social media to share an update after the procedure. 

"Not gone lie , was really going through it & battling a form of Depression this past week. Got surgery today and I’m tapped in more than ever and ready to grind this out, positive spirit and be an absolute beast for 2022 season. Bigger, stronger, faster. MAD MF’N MAX !!" [Williams]

With Williams and redshirt senior safety Greg Johnson out for the remainder of spring camp due to injury and rehab, the question remains who will fill these positions, especially with the Trojans Spring Showcase right around the corner.

"Two kids that we've identified that we are going to look [at] over the next couple of weeks is Isaiah Pola-Mao" said Helton last Saturday. "We also looked at [junior] Briton Allen."

Williams appeared in all six games with three starts in 2020. He had 22 tackles, including 2.5 for losses of six yards (with 0.5 sack for minus 3 yards), and one deflection. 

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