Every year there are a handful of early declarations that raise an eyebrow or two, and this one will likely be considered one of those.
On his personal Twitter account Tuesday, Anthony Ratliff-Williams announced that he “will now pursue my life long [sic] dream of playing football in the NFL and I have officially declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.” The wide receiver’s draft decision, which was not really expected by most observers of the football program, comes a week or two after Larry Fedora was fired as the Tar Heels’ head coach and replaced by Mack Brown.
Ratliff-Williams led the Tar Heels this season with 689 yards receiving, while his two touchdowns through the air were tied for the team lead. The redshirt junior was also second on the team in receptions (42) and yards per catch (16.4).
For his career, the 6-1, 205-pound receiver will finish with 1,340 yards and eight touchdowns on 80 receptions.
Last season, Ratliff-Williams was named first-team All-ACC as a specialist. He was second nationally in kickoff return yards that year, and was third in the conference in all-purpose yards per game.