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Matt York, AP
Utah defensive back Marcus Williams (20) runs back an interception against Arizona State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
After much consideration about my future with my family I have decided to forego my senior season at the University of Utah and enter the 2017 NFL draft. —Marcus Williams

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah safety Marcus Williams is “on to the next level.” The junior announced that he’s leaving the Utes and heading for the NFL.

“After much consideration about my future with my family I have decided to forego my senior season at the University of Utah and enter the 2017 NFL draft,” Williams announced via Twitter.

Williams went on to thank his coaches. He credited defensive coordinator/safeties coach Morgan Scalley and cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah for helping him improve as a man and an athlete.

“They have always lived by their word and made me a part of their family,” read the statement by Williams. “I would also like to thank the equipment staff, trainers, teammates and of course the amazing fans for a great three years of my life.”

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back from Corona, California, appeared in 37 games for the Utes. He made 189 tackles (125 solo) with 19 pass breakups, 11 interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Williams capped his college career with an interception in Utah’s 26-24 win over Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl.

“This program has developed me from a boy into a man. It has taught me how to sacrifice to get where I want to be. It has shown me how to face adversity no matter how bad it may be,” continued the announcement by Williams. “It has shown me how to respect the process and never give up on anything I start no matter how difficult the task is.”

The statement concluded with Williams saying he’s “forever grateful to be a Ute.”

NFLDraftScout.com ranks Williams as the No. 1 free safety in the nation.

Teammate Garett Bolles, who is ranked as the No. 3 offensive lineman by draft prognosticators, is in the midst of making a decision about entering the draft as well.

“My wife and I are praying and weighing our options regarding my senior year," read a Twitter post Sunday. “We plan to make an announce(ment) later this week.”