At the end of the 2010 regular season, the NFL will nominate five players for the league's annual Rookie of the Year Award. At least one choice should be easy – a simple review of the various Rookie of the Week fields will show one name popping up again and again.
Yes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams is up for the award once again in Week Nine, the fifth time in just eight games that he has been selected. That is easily the highest number of nominations for any player in 2010; Kansas City safety Eric Berry, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford and Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh have three nominations each.
This week, Williams is up against San Diego wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, Kansas City safety Eric Berry, Oakland wide receiver Jacoby Ford and Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy. The winner will be chosen by fan voting, which has already begun and will continue through noon on Friday.
Click here to go directly to the voting page and place your vote for the Buccaneers' star rookie.
Against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Williams led all players with 89 yards on four receptions. He also scored the Buccaneers' second touchdown of the game on a 58-yard reception, snaring a short pass and eluding two Atlanta defenders to gain most of the yards after the catch. Williams' last catch of the day was a nifty 11-yard sideline grab that converted a third-and-10 on his team's final drive, which reached the Atlanta two-yard line before stalling.
On the season, Williams has 36 receptions for 559 yards and five touchdowns. He not only leads all rookies in receiving yards and touchdown receptions, but he is near the top of the charts among all players in the former category. Williams' yardage total stands sixth in the NFC and 12th in the NFL, and the only player in the top 15 with a better per-catch average than Williams' 15.5 yards is San Diego tight end Antonio Gates (16.6).
A Rookie of the Week will be chosen for each of the NFL's 17 regular-season weeks this season. At the end of the year, five Rookie of the Year candidates will be chosen and fans will once again get a chance to vote for the winner.
Williams has made it clear that winning the Rookie of the Year award is one of his individual goals for the 2010 season. First things first: Let's help him claim his first Rookie of the Week trophy.