DeAngelo Williams Enters The Heisman Trophy Race
May 12, 2005
With the return of perhaps the most exciting and dominant running back in the nation for the 2005 collegiate football season, the University of Memphis is poised at the starting line and officially ready to enter the Heisman Trophy race for the first time in school history.
University of Memphis Athletic Media Relations Director Jennifer Rodrigues is spearheading a campaign that links DeAngelo Williams to the ever-popular sport of auto racing and places the senior at the starting line of the greatest race of his career.
In preparation for this nationwide campaign, Rodrigues ordered over 3,500 1:24 scale die-cast race cars with a special DeAngelo Williams paint scheme, created by Fallout Design of Memphis. The cars, produced by Action Performance Companies, are expected to arrive in Memphis in late July and will be immediately mailed to Heisman voters around the country.
In addition, the University has constructed a web site that will feature a video introduction highlighting Williams, as well as updated statistics, biography and photographs. A postcard will be included in the mailout to national media directing writers and Heisman voters to the newly-developed web site, which is: www.racefortheheisman.com.
Williams, a senior tailback for the Tigers, jumped into the Heisman Trophy race in January of 2005 when he announced at a press conference that he would return to the U of M for his senior season instead of entering the NFL Draft. Williams had been projected to be a late first round selection in the 2005 draft.
The record-setting back rushed for 1,948 yards and led the nation with 22 rushing touchdowns last season. He was featured weekly among the leaders in virtually every NCAA rushing, all-purpose yardage and scoring category, and completed his junior season ranked second in the nation in rushing yardage, second in all-purpose yardage and second in scoring. Combining both power and speed, Williams has amassed 4,062 career rushing yards, 5,498 career all-purpose yards and has scored 41 total touchdowns.
Leading the Memphis Tigers to back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in school history, the Wynne, Ark., native garnered national attention by being named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season in 2004. Williams also was named Associated Press All-America, SI.com All-America, Pro Football Weekly All-America and was a Doak Walker and Maxwell Awards semifinalist last year.
Since the conclusion of last season, honors have continued to roll in for the 5-foot-10, 217-pound back. Williams traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., in January as a finalist for the John Wooden Cup and was presented an Award of Distinction by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio). He was tabbed the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Athlete of the Year in March and was selected the Tennessee Sports Writers Player of the Year for 2004. Recently, Williams was named to the 2005 Playboy All-America Team and NationalChamps.net preseason All-America first team.
ESPN's Mel Kiper has tabbed Williams as "one of the top five players to be selected in the 2006 NFL Draft and the No. 1 running back to be taken," while CBSSportsline.com has rated Williams as the No. 3 player to be drafted in April of 2006.