Antonio Williams, a former Ohio State running back, joined the North Carolina coaching staff as a student assistant running backs coach while he finishes his degree.
Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson showed his support of Williams, with a post on Twitter.
— Kevin Wilson (@OSUCoachKDub) August 20, 2020
“Will have a great future as a football coach!” Wilson wrote. “All the best (Antonio Williams) – our sport needs bright and talented young men like yourself to coach and lead our future players!”
Williams transferred to North Carolina in the spring of 2018, where he rushed for 504 yards on 91 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and five touchdowns with 16 receptions for 131 yards for the Tar Heels as a junior.
As a senior in 2019, Williams gained 322 rushing yards on 48 carries (6.7 yards per carry) with three touchdowns. The New London, N.C., native signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills in April, but he was released by the team in August.
Before heading home to UNC, Williams tallied 290 rushing yards and three touchdowns with five catches for 25 yards as a sophomore for Ohio State at 2017.
Across his collegiate career, Williams amassed 1,144 rushing yards on 5.7 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns.
The former Buckeye made quite an impression upon the Tar Heel program during his two seasons in Chapel Hill, N.C., preaching positivity.
“At the end of the day, this is a game,” Williams said. “And we love this game. It means so much to us. But at the end of the day, it’s a game. Don’t let this game stress you out to a point where it just messes you up mentally. Stay positive. There are bigger things in life that we have to worry about than football. You’ve just got to stay positive. Positive vibes all the time. That’s what I believe.”
North Carolina head coach Mack Brown appreciated Williams’ positive perspective. The Tar Heels head coach had already mentioned Williams’ future as a coach while he was still playing back in November.
“Every day, he’s upbeat and he picks me up when I’m down. He’s just as special young man,” Brown said back in November. “I’d hire him today. He’s going to try the NFL; if that doesn’t work, he’s going to try TV. If that doesn’t work, which I think both could work, I’m going to hire him to do something because he’s one of the neatest young people I’ve ever been around in my life.
“He’s had the best attitude on our football team, regardless. Every morning at 5:30 when I walk in there, he’s upbeat. It’s like he jumps out of bed and comes in and says, ‘Hey Coach, how are you today?’ I said, ‘I’m fine, how are you? How do you get this happy?’ He’s worked that way. He has been as big a joy to coach for me as anybody I’ve ever coached; he’s been that much fun, and I’ll really miss him.”
For four free issues of the now-monthly print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/