Born in San Diego, California, Ricky Williams was a prolific high school running back, running for 2,099 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior year alone, and was named the San Diego Union-Tribune’s player of the year, in addition to being named to their All-Academic team.
After high school, Williams went on to play at the University of Texas, where he was immediately an impact player, rushing for over 1,000 yards his freshman year on only 178 carries. A two-time All-American, Williams rushing totals and touchdowns increased every year as a Longhorn, culminating in his sensational senior year where he ran for 2,327 yards and 29 touchdowns, adding 29 catches for 307 yards through the air. His dominating statistical totals earned him the Maxwell Award. While at Texas, Williams broke the all-time NCAA rushing record with 6,279 yards, and broke the NCAA rushing touchdowns record as well, with 75 career scores.
While at Texas, Williams also played baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system, as they drafted him in the eighth round of the 1995 MLB Draft.
Williams was taken with the fifth overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, who traded all of their draft picks that year to the Washington Redskins in order to acquire Williams. Despite two 1,000-yard seasons, Williams was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2002, where he had his most successful pro season, running for 1,853 yards and earning Pro-Bowl and All-Pro honors. Williams retired in 2012, having rushed for over 10,000 yards in his career.