(CBS) — Oftentimes we hear great college athletes referred to as student athletes. While that may not ring true for many, it is spot-on when talking about Elmhurst College senior Scottie Williams.
He’s an elite football player, an accomplished student and is tireless in his charitable work.
No matter where he goes on campus, the cafeteria, or even class, Williams is a recognizable figure. But don’t call him a big man on campus.
“It’s not just about me, it’s about other people in my life,” Williams tells CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.
He grew up first in Mississippi and Alabama before moving to west suburban Woodridge, where he starred on the Downers Grove South football team, the son of a pastor and teacher and the eldest of four children.
“It’s been amazing growing up under their tutelage. They’ve been a huge factor in being the man that I am today,” Williams says.
He went to Elmhurst College as a contract student, meaning they were keeping a close watch on his grades. But four years later, he is soaring academically with a 3.3 GPA.
It was that scholastic excellence combined with his accomplishments as one of the top rushers in Division III this year that earned him the Gagliardi Trophy in December, essentially the Heisman Trophy of that level.
The Gagliardi Trophy is more than about athletic and academic prowess. It is about benevolence and giving back, which Williams does through Habitat for Humanity.
“I’ve loved the things we’ve done on the field, but it’s nothing like giving back to somebody who doesn’t have what you have, or who doesn’t have much,” he says.
Not surprisingly, Williams has made quite an impression at Elmhurst College with officials like Dean of Students Eileen Sullivan.
“He’s the total package,” she says. “I think like we’re really lucky to have interfaced with him at some point in his life.”
Even though he has come so far, achieved so much, Williams knows there is plenty left to do.
“I guess like every other college student I’m going to be looking for a job,” says Williams, who hopes to get into sports marketing.