UA's Williams wins Disney Spirit Award

By: Gavin Lesnick
Published: Monday, November 15, 2010
Arkansas Razorbacks' Tight end D.J. Williams.
Photo by Wesley Hitt
Arkansas Razorbacks' Tight end D.J. Williams.

— University of Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams has been named the 2010 Disney Spirit Award winner as college football's most inspirational figure, officials said Monday.

Williams "suffered through a childhood fractured by an alcoholic, drug-addicted and abusive father" before fleeing the home with his mother and sister, according to a news release announcing the award. Williams now volunteers with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys & Girls Club and Children's Hospital.

“I will accept this award on behalf of my mother, my sisters and the entire Razorback family,” Williams said in the statement. “Watching my mother, who never quit, is the inspiration for me each day and a lesson for us all. My hope is the story of my family will show those who are experiencing a similar ordeal that they are not alone and there is help and a way out. To be recognized by Disney Sports and to join the list of recipients of this award is humbling and a blessing I’ll share with my family.”

The award will be formally presented at a Dec. 9 ceremony. It will be televised live on ESPN.

Williams, a senior who will graduate in December, is the NCAA's active leader in catches and yards by a tight end.

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