Ricky Williams on journey to Heisman and Hall
College Football Share

Ricky Williams on journey to Heisman and Hall

Williams rebuilt his image after a controversy NFL career left people puzzled about him

Photo: Ricky Williams

NEW YORK — The formerly enigmatic Ricky Williams ran for an NCAA-record 6,279 yards at Texas and another 10,009 yards in the NFL. The most important yards for his post-football career, though, were the 1,121 he gained in his 2009 comeback season.

That was the start to rehabilitating his image that had been sacked by positive marijuana tests, his 2004 NFL suspension and his overall aloof personality. There also was his stint coaching running backs at Incarnate Word in San Antonio that helped rebuild his brand name.

Click here for the rest of my Austin Statesman story on Ricky Williams

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and Chargers.com. He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer, MLB.com, Rivals.com and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."