Williams likely to announce NFL decision this afternoon

Jack Satzinger

Maxx Williams was mum after Minnesota's 33-17 loss to Missouri in yesterday's Citrus Bowl when asked if he'll remain with the Gophers or bolt for the NFL, but an announcement could be coming as early as 4 p.m. Friday. 

Williams' family is currently traveling back to Minneapolis to meet with the star tight end and come to a decision. 

"He's already home, so we really haven't had time to sit down and talk to him," father Brian Williams said. "The decision hasn't been made yet."

Williams, a John Mackey Award finalist for tight end of the year, finished his redshirt sophomore season with a team-high 569 receiving yards, eight touchdowns and 36 receptions. The Waconia, Minn., native stood out in the bowl loss with 98 receiving yards, 54 of which came on a highlight reel touchdown

It's widely believed that Williams, a hyperathletic pass catcher with good hands, will declare for the NFL Draft after strong performances this season improved his stock. 

However, those close to him still think there's a slim chance he could come back for another year. 

Pat Foley, who coached Maxx Williams at Waconia High School and remains in close contact with the Williams family, said his former player still has a lot to gain from coming back. He's been elected one of three team captains going into next year, Foley said, and might relish the role of being a team leader.

Whether or not Williams will leave Minnesota for the NFL or come back to play at least one more season under Jerry Kill remains to be seen, but an answer appears to be coming very soon.   

"He has such a tie to coach Kill and his staff I know that if they felt they were going to make a good run possibly," Foley said, "I could see him easily going back."