Williams, a senior linebacker from Moorefield, W. Va., is one of 164 semifinalists for the Draddy Award, presented to a student athlete who excels on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Williams' nomination also makes him eligible for selection as a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a 25- pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2008 National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 9 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for both academic and athletic accomplishments. The Draddy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist and a Heisman winner.