This time 20 years ago, Ricky Williams was just beginning his record-breaking, Heisman-winning run as running back for the University of Texas Longhorns.
Nowadays, he works as a sports analyst for the Longhorns Network’s “Texas GameDay” and is finally finishing up his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas.
Buzzfeed recently caught up with the Longhorn legend, who they deem “the NFL’s most notorious underachiever,” and put a spotlight on his life outside of football, which, since his NFL retirement in 2011 includes raising a family in suburban Austin, planning a Ph.D. in psychology and reflecting on his tumultuous yet still historic football career.
You can read the full story here. Here are a few teasers from the lengthy profile (Buzzfeed listicle lovers, beware):
“I find my biggest challenge is getting people to let go of me as a football player and be willing to consider me as that and something else,” Williams said during an interview on UT’s campus in June. “But for most people, being a professional football player is like the pinnacle of their imagined life or actual life. For me, as much as I tried to make it that, it just hasn’t worked. I still want more.”
“Ricky was definitely one of those guys,” said professor Tolga Ozyurtcu, who had Williams in a Philosophy of Sport class in spring 2014. “Like, oh man, we’ve got a minute left of class and you’re going to ask that question right now? He got some eyerolls from the back of the class.”
“Yes, I’m aware that football is a rough sport,” Williams said, “but instead of saying, ‘Oh, I’m doomed to brain trauma,’ I said, ‘What can I do about it?’ And I just started taking care of my body. I found people, places, and things that really helped me. Again, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me in 10 years, but I look at the other things I’ve learned about, and the way I see the world.”
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