EUGENE, Ore. — Despite several media suggestions that LSU star Noah Williams could follow in the footsteps of some of the top collegiate athletes and sign a professional contract, his coach Dennis Shaver confirmed with World-Track that the sprinter is set to return for another season.
Williams, the NCAA Indoor 400m champion, was hoping to secure a place on Team USA for the quarter-lap at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials which concluded at the weekend but failed to progress beyond the semi-finals.
It was reported that the Akron University transfer was thinking about the possibility to forgo the remaining years of his college eligibility and join the pro ranks, but LSU head coach Shaver said “no” when asked if the Rochester, New York native was looking to sign a professional deal.
The 2021 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships title-holder was in top form this season after setting personal bests during the indoor and outdoor campaigns.
The 22-year-old clocked a lifetime best and world-leading time of 44.71 seconds on his way to winning the national indoor title in March, while posting a career-best 44.30s in his outdoor opener in April, which remains the third-fastest time in the world for 2021 and the second-fastest time in LSU program history.
Besides his fruitful collegiate form over the 400m this season, Williams was also an essential part of LSU’s 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter relay teams, which finished the term rank No. 2 among college programs in the nation.
Earlier this month Terrance Laird, the NCAA Outdoor Championships 100m champion and a finalist over the 200m at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday, unsurprisingly announced that he would forgo his remaining college eligibility and sign a pro contract.
Laird had hinted in the closing weeks of the college season that this could have been his last college season.