Official Site of the Boston College Eagles

From the Desk of the AD: A Case for Andre Williams for the Heisman Trophy

Andre Williams

Andre Williams

Dec. 9, 2013

If you go to the web page of the Heisman Trophy you will see the following mission statement: "The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity."

How do you define `excellence with integrity?'

It starts with students who epitomize their University's mission - in Andre's case: `Ever to Excel.' It continues with athletic performance: Andre leads the nation in nearly every rushing statistical category including rushing yards (2,102) and rushing yards per game (175.2) while rushing for more than 200 yards five times this season and more than 250 yards in four games. `Excellence with integrity' should be measured against history and Andre is one of only 16 players EVER to surpass 2,000 yards in one season and currently ranks ninth in the storied history of college football: NINTH! Any measure of excellence must be gauged against the very best and only a handful of players including Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson and Marcus Allen have out-performed Andre (so far). Excellence requires feats of such magnitude that the competition is not close:

• Andre has 17 runs of at least 30 yards or more this season, the most of any running back in college football
• Andre was responsible for 51 percent of Boston College's total offense, the highest rate for any FBS running back in the last 10 seasons
• Only four Heisman Trophy winners have ever had a statistical season better than Andre Williams - Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier and Ricky Williams

Clearly, Andre Williams is one of the greatest running backs in the history of college football - and he's a better scholar!

The Heisman Trophy Trust Mission statement goes on to say: "Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work." Andre will graduate in 3.5 years - a full semester early - in two weeks. He currently has a 3.065 GPA at one of the most rigorous and prestigious private schools in the nation. In addition to his intellectual accomplishments, Andre has been a teaching assistant throughout the semester, writes poetry and is an aspiring author. Clearly, Andre Williams symbolizes `diligence, perseverance and hard work.'

He is an even better person.

The Heisman Trophy Mission statement concludes with: "The Trustees are guided by a devotion to college football and are committed to community service and the valued tradition which the Trophy represents." Andre has inspired underprivileged youth through the Boston College Pen Pal program. He is fully engaged in the Jesuit tradition of `Men and Women for Others,' regularly defers credit to teammates and coaches, inspires peers through his pedagogy, models performance through his words and actions and is a genuine, noble and empathetic scholar, athlete, server and leader. He is not only the epitome of college football, but represents all that is good about the ideology of collegiate athletics in its purest form.

Granted, I am admittedly biased, so let you be the judge... "The pursuit of excellence with integrity."

I cannot imagine a better representative of the Heisman Trophy Mission than Andre Williams.