Matt Williams (American football)

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Matt Williams
College Texas Tech
Conference Big 12
Sport Football
Position PK
Class Sophomore
Major Education[1]
Nickname Lynnwood[2]
Career 2008–present
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg)
Nationality USA

Matt Williams (born in Weatherford, Texas) is a former walk-on place kicker for the Texas Tech Red Raiders football team. Williams was offered the position, two other players having failed to succeed for the team at that point, after winning a year's worth of free rent in a place-kicking contest at one of the Red Raiders games.[3][4]

Early years[edit]

Williams attended Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Texas, where he played soccer and football. In football, he played both wide receiver and kicker. His signature moment as a kicker occurred when he kicked a 49-yard field goal through the uprights to defeat rival Mineral Wells High School in overtime. He graduated from Weatherford in 2006.[1]

College career[edit]

Tarleton State[edit]

Williams walked on at Tarleton State University as a football player, though was only on the team for a month and never played a game.[1]

Texas Tech[edit]

After two years at Tarleton State, Williams transferred to Texas Tech. During halftime of Tech's September 20, 2008, football game against the University of Massachusetts, Williams entered a promotional contest in which he made a 30-yard field goal. He caught the attention of head coach Mike Leach, who liked the fundamentals he used on the kick. Leach wanted him on the team, and although it was initially thought he would not be immediately eligible, the NCAA granted a one-time exception based on the specific circumstances.[5] He was allowed to play immediately as he had not been recruited by Tarleton State and also because he was never a scholarship player. However, the season he played on Tarleton State's squad counted toward his eligibility, making him a sophomore during his first year at Tech. He also had to reject the free rent he won in the contest in order to remain eligible.[1]

Williams made his debut in a 63–21 win over Kansas where he was a perfect 9 for 9 on PATs.[6] Following the game, Williams was recognized as the AT&T ESPN All-America Player of the Week.[7]

The following week, in Texas Tech's 39–33 victory over Texas, Williams was also asked to kick field goals, making two and having one blocked.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hairopoulos, Kate (2008-11-22). "Texas Tech kicker taking an unlikely road to stardom". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  2. ^ Carlton, Chuck (2008-10-25). "Tech's walk-on kicker perfect on nine PATs". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  3. ^ "Sweetwater Reporter - Student who won contest might kick for Texas Tech". Sweetwaterreporter.com. October 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02. [dead link]
  4. ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/31/60minutes/main4694714.shtml60 Minutes feature on Mike Leach
  5. ^ "No headline - FOX Sports - Article". Sports.mobile.msn.com. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  6. ^ Hairopoulos, Kate; Carlton, Chuck (2008-10-29). "Walk-on Texas Tech kicker's role might expand". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  7. ^ Williams, Don; Walker, Jeff (2008-10-31). "Red Raiders Football Notebook 10-31-2008". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  8. ^ "Same drill on choosing the Texas Tech kicker, Leach says | Texas Tech Red Raiders News | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News". Dallasnews.com. November 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 

External links[edit]