NEW YORK (KXAN) — Ricky Williams was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
He is the 18th Texas player to be inducted, and the 20th Longhorn overall, joining coaches Dana X. Bible and Darrell K Royal.
“It’s awesome,” Williams said Tuesday. “As a kid, all I ever wanted to do in life was play college football, and I had a chance to play at a great institution, The University of Texas, with a great, rich tradition. All I wanted to do was contribute to that tradition, and I think going into the Hall of Fame, the [18th] player from the University of Texas, it’s awesome”
During Williams four years on the Forty Acres, he set 21 NCAA records, and 46 school records. He was a two-time unanimous first-team All-American, the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner and he left as the all-time rushing leader in college football.
Knowing those two achievements were within reach if he came back for his senior season helped sway him to return for that historic 1998 season.
“I went to career rushing yards, I saw Tony Dorsett and saw that I had a chance,” Williams recalled of looking through a college football almanac as he was thinking about whether or not to return for a final season. “I went to all-purpose yards and saw that I had a chance. Coming back for my senior year, it took a lot of trust in my team, in my new head coach Mack Brown, to be able to accomplish my individual goals.”
Williams was coming off an All-American year as a junior, but Texas finished the 1997 season a disappointing 4-7. Head coach John Mackovic was fired, and Brown was brought on to lead the Longhorns.
“To win the Heisman Trophy, I knew I needed the team to win,” Williams said. “Again, it just took so much trust. I was risking injury, I was risking harm to my future NFL career. It wasn’t just an individual goal and accomplishment, it was something I needed the whole team to accomplish.”
Current Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, current Austin resident and former Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth and former Texas Tech linebacker Zach Thomas were also among the 17-person 2015 class.