It's official. Elmhurst College running back Scottie Williams has been named the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III.
Williams was presented the Gagliardi Trophy Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Salem, Va. The award is presented by Jostens and the J-Club of St. John's University in Minnesota.
Williams, a senior at Elmhurst College, is a graduate of Downers Grove South High School. He is the first Elmhurst player to earn the prestigious award, which honors excellence in athletics, academics and community service. He also is just the fifth running back to receive the honor over the past 20 seasons.
Williams led the Bluejays to their best season ever, with 10 wins and their first share of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin title since 1980. This year's team also was the first Elmhurst College team to make the NCAA playoffs.
The award was presented in Salem during a banquet that kicked off the festivities surrounding the NCAA Division III Championship Stagg Bowl. Williams attended the banquet with Elmhurst College head football coach Tim Lester.
The Gagliardi Trophy, named for legendary St. John’s football coach John Gagliardi, the recently retired winningest coach in college football history, has been awarded annually since the 1993 season.
Named the CCIW’s Offensive Player of the Year and a National Football Coaches Association All-American in 2012, Williams sparked Elmhurst’s rushing attack and rewrote the college’s record book in the process. He set new Elmhurst single-season records for rushing yards (2,046) and rushing touchdowns (22) this season. He averaged 170.5 yards per game, ranking second in Division III in rushing, and 6.2 yards per carry this season while also catching 23 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
Williams has had success in the classroom as well. He has twice earned Academic All-Conference honors and was a first-team Capital One Academic All-American in 2011.
Off the field, Williams has participated in President Barack Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, a nationwide initiative to promote interfaith dialogue and cooperation. He also helped build homes as part of the College’s Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Along with his teammates, Williams helped raise funds for a variety of causes. He participated in the College’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and also helped raise money for the Ray Graham Association, a local organization that provides opportunities to people with disabilities. The son of a pastor, Williams also has volunteered at a vacation bible school at his father’s church, the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church.
Source: Elmhurst College