July 18, 2024

DeAngelo Williams: A Memphis Tiger Enters the Den of Legends

 DeAngelo Williams: A Memphis Tiger Enters the Den of Legends

Las Vegas, NV – The evening of December 5, 2023, will be etched in the annals of college football history as DeAngelo Williams, the legendary Memphis Tigers player, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The induction took place during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner presented by Las Vegas at the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas. Williams is the first player from the Tigers to receive this honor, joining the ranks of former Memphis head coaches Billy J. Murphy and Allyn McKeen.

The induction of Williams into the 2023 class of the College Football Hall of Fame was announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF). “I have no doubt that every member of Tiger Nation is extremely proud of this much-deserved recognition for DeAngelo and the incredible career and impact he made for Memphis Football,” commented Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Laird Veatch.

Williams, along with 18 other First Team All-America players and four standout coaches, was selected from a national ballot featuring 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision, and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks. These inductees will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes. Their contributions to college football will be immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

No one is more deserving of this amazing recognition than DeAngelo Williams,” said Memphis head football coach Ryan Silverfield. “He has meant so much to our university and our football program. DeAngelo loves his Tigers and we are so pleased that he is being honored for all his accomplishments and contributions to college football.

Williams, a First Team All-American in 2005, was a force on the field during his time with the Tigers. He led the team to three consecutive bowl games, a first in the program’s history. An elusive running back, he set an NCAA record with 34 games of 100-plus yards rushing, and finished his career as the FBS record holder in all-purpose yards (7,573), now ranking fourth.

His impact on the Memphis program was transformative, elevating the Tigers to an average of eight wins per season from 2003 to 2005 and earning the team three consecutive bowl appearances. He remains the all-time leading rusher in the Conference USA (C-USA) with 6,026 yards, over 700 yards more than the player in second place.

In recognition of his exceptional career, the school renamed the team MVP award as the “DeAngelo Williams MVP Award” in his honor in 2012. His jersey was retired in 2006, and he was selected to the M Club Hall of Fame in 2014.

Off the field, Williams has made significant contributions through his charitable foundation, the DeAngelo Williams Foundation. Founded in 2006 in honor of his mother, Sandra, and four aunts who passed away from breast cancer, the foundation’s “53 Strong for Sandra” program has assisted nearly 1,000 low-income women with mammograms and cancer treatments.

As we celebrate his induction, we are reminded of the legacy Williams has left on and off the field. His journey from the Memphis Tigers to the College Football Hall of Fame is a testament to the indomitable spirit of college football, and a shining example of the power of sports to inspire and uplift. Tonight, a legend has truly taken his place among the highest echelons of the sport.

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