Photo: Mekhi Williams
For Mekhi Williams, National Signing Day was about more than announcing where he was going to be playing college football, it marked a celebration for how far he’s come.
The Charles Herbert Flowers High School senior accepted a scholarship offer to play football for Bowie State University. As Williams was trying to hold back tears, he took to the mic to thank all those who made it possible for him to be where he is today.
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This is what signing day looks like. When you gave everything you had to the game, and sacrificed your body for the game. Let alone enduring real trials and tribulations of life, not just high bullshit. This is what signing day looks like… love you @sskhi2 proud of all you accomplished! #indeed #dotherightthing
We asked Williams what he was thinking about when he got emotional during his speech.
“I was thinking about my past and everything I overcame. All the friends and cousins I lost to guns, one to drunk driving, getting in trouble in school, giving my mom a hard time, not having stuff the other kids had. Then just thinking all my hard work paid off. My mother staying on me paid off. God never giving up on me paid off.”
While Williams credited many people for impacting his life, he said his coaches played the biggest part, sharing: “When I first got to Flowers High School Coach Melo took me in like I was his son. He was always that cool Coach everyone wanted to be around. He always made sure I was straight.”
He added: “Coach Hamp was more so the enforcer. He taught me what true hard work and dedication meant… It made me a better person, a better man.”
With plans to major in social work, Williams dreams of one day playing in the NFL. But as of now, he’s looking forward to starting “all over at a new level.” If he could give any words of encouragement to others like him, it would be to never give up.
“Find your why,” Williams said. “There’s a why to everything you do, whether it’s for your kids, your family, you have to have it, because when times get hard you remember what and who you are doing it for.”
Congratulations, Mekhi! We can’t wait to see the big things you’ll accomplish in the future!