Posted June 28th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Ricky Williams Heisman AnniversaryTen years have passed since [tag]Ricky Williams[/tag] won the Heisman Trophy. In honor of that anniversary, the 50th anniversary for Pete Dawkins (Army) and the 25th for Mike Rozier (Nebraska running back) the second annual Heisman Anniversary Winners weekend is going on right now in Austin. It’s a chance for former winners to get together and of course play a little golf.

The official Texas football site has a Q&A with Ricky available (which I’ve also posted below) as well as a great photo gallery from the event’s golf tournament.

Was it everything you thought it would be, I know we talked to you a month ago when you were anticipating it, is it everything you thought it would be: Yeah, I try not to anticipate too much. The main thing I wanted to do is come with my family and have a good time, and so far, so good. For me the big thing is just being back in Austin. I’ve had more fun driving around Austin than anything else.

Has one of the Heisman winners had a bigger influence on you: It’s no question – it’s Earl [Campbell]. He was here from day one, and he’s still here and he’s still one of my biggest supporters. It’s definitely Earl.

Tony Dorsett was reminiscing when he was there when you broke the record and he kind of got emotional about it: Yeah, I mean, it was a record that lasted for 20 years, and you know, when I had it, it only lasted for one (smiling). I think it’s one of the most prestigious records in all of college football.

Does a weekend like this bring back a lot of memories for you: I think just being back in Austin. This event specifically is about the Heisman trophy, but the fact that it’s in Austin for me is so important.

How about that night in New York when you won the Heisman, does it bring back memories of that: Well, not really. The way everything happened in ’98 was really a team award. To me it was all about The University of Texas and I was there serving as a representative.

But you were the one who met all the other Heisman winners and they congratulated you, was that strange at the time now looking back: At the moment, the season wasn’t over, we still had a bowl game. I think most of the Heisman winners don’t get involved until their done playing and since I’m still playing, I think it’s going to take a while for that part of it to settle in.

Do you keep up with the other Heisman winners at all other than Earl: Mainly just Earl, and I’ve talked to Tony [Dorsett] a couple times.

You got to walk into the new stadium this week, what was that like going back: It’s just so different, I mean, so different – the stadium, the field is even different. Everything is different. That big jumbotron is amazing. I take pride in that. I’d like to think I had something to do with it, but this program really has just taken off in the last 10 years and something to be very proud of.

Where do you keep your trophy: It’s at home right in the family room, right when you walk in the house. It’s funny – my son just finished his first season of tee-ball and he got this little tiny baseball trophy. And he comes in and says, ‘I have a trophy now, too.’ And he puts it right on top of my Heisman trophy. I thought he’d put it to the side, but he put it right on top. I thought that was funny.

Has your respect changed for the trophy over these last few years: I think it represents greatness, and that I had a chance to come to Austin and aspire to greatness and reach it. For that, it will always have something special.

You say Austin is so important, why do you enjoy coming back here: I think Austin is a unique place, but more importantly the memories that I have and the people that I’ve met, I think, the time you’re in college are probably the most important years of your life because you’re really growing up. The people that I’ve met and the relationships I started are really important in building who I am today.

Have some of the issues that surround you become more magnified because you won the trophy: I just think that whenever you’re very talented and there’s a lot of attention on you, anything you do good is going to be blown out of proportion and anything you do bad is going to be blown out of proportion. I had a coach who used to say, ‘You’re never as good as they say, and you’re never as bad as they say.’

Mike Rozier said that you defined the trophy because you haven’t quit, you’ve stayed strong, and you’ve kept on fighting. Is that how you see yourself: I can’t help it. I just keep on going. I was thinking about it a lot these past couple of days and I was thinking about my senior season. We played Kansas State and we got beat pretty bad. I only had 43 yards. I left that game with a quad bruise, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to play the next game and I think going through that adversity really solidified and let me know that I was here to stay. Without that, I don’t know if I would have won the Heisman trophy.

Will you be able to enjoy these next couple of weeks with training camp only a month away: Yeah, we’ve got about another month off. I want to have fun and I want to spend some time with the family, but I also need to keep working out so when camp starts, I’m not in too bad of shape.

How has your relationship with Bill Parcells been: He’s great. He’s been on my case to make sure I stay in shape and keep doing the little things and I think he’s a valuable asset to the Dolphins.

Can you believe it’s been 10 years already: No, it doesn’t seem like it. I think when I was younger, time seemed so long, but as you get older, it really flies. I just hope in the next 10 years, I’ll be able to come back and be in a good place like I am today.


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