September 7, 2016//
Meet Teddy Williams '10. He was the first Roadrunner to play for the NFL.
I take pride in calling myself a Roadrunner. I hold it very high and dear to me.”
– Teddy Williams
"I started playing football when I was five years old," Williams said. "It was all I knew."
He knew from a young age that he wanted to play football, but he broke his ankle during a game in his senior year of high school. Williams' doctor told him that he would never play football again and would likely never run again.
In search of a new dream, Williams decided to pursue a top-tier education at UTSA, where he began studying kinesiology.
"When I got to UTSA, the only thing I was focused on was earning my degree," he said. "I had promised my mom I would graduate from college, and I pride myself on keeping my promises."
Aaron Fox, UTSA director of track and field and cross country, took Williams under his wing. With intense physical therapy and hard work, Williams was able to return to sports, putting his speed to use as a star member of UTSA's track and field team. In 2009, he completed the 100 meters with a time of 9.90 seconds at the UTEP Invitational, setting the fastest time in the world for that season.
"Coach Fox really helped to mold me into the man I am today," he said. "Those weren't the easiest times, so I'm so grateful for his support and guidance."
Williams became a father in his freshman year. With the birth of his daughter came a new wealth of responsibilities, and Williams found he had to grow up quickly.
"Everything changed," he said. "I thought about dropping out, but my family and my coach helped me get through those hard times, and reminded me I needed to graduate for my daughter."
Williams earned his degree from UTSA in 2010, and later that year signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys. Since then, he has also played for the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals. He joined the Carolina Panthers in 2015, and earlier this year played in Super Bowl 50.
"It was a great experience," he said. "It was just an honor and a blessing to represent UTSA in the Super Bowl. I take pride in calling myself a Roadrunner. I hold it very high and dear to me."
Williams maintains contact with most of his college teammates, as well as Coach Fox, who he speaks to regularly. He even has a tattoo on his wrist in honor of UTSA.
"I'm not the most introspective person," Williams said. "Only recently I've realized how rough the journey's been, but that just makes me appreciate everything more."
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.