LAURINBURG — When it came to selecting a college, it was pure coincidence that twins Chris and Tim Williams both decided to attend North Carolina A&T State University — but it was hard work and dedication on the field and in the classroom that earned each a football scholarship.
The Scotland seniors signed their letters of intent to play Division I college football on National Signing Day earlier this week.
North Carolina A&T State University is located in Greensboro, about an hour and 45 minutes from Laurinburg. The Aggies play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), which is made up of teams from nine different states including Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. Schools participating in the conference are Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Savannah State University and Norfolk State University.
Last season, North Carolina A&T had its third undefeated season in school history sporting a 12-0 overall record and 8-0 in conference. The Aggies won the black college football national championship, which is award to the best football team among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) that compete in either the NCAA’s Division I or Division II.
North Carolina A&T competed in its ninth bowl game in December, their second under current head coach Rod Broadway, who joined the program in 2011. The Aggies took on Grambling State in the Celebration Bowl beating the Tigers, 21-14.
The twins both liked the atmosphere and culture of the Aggie football program.
“It just worked out that way that Chris and I ended up going to the same place,” Tim said. “I felt like it was a family culture and they were going to accept me in. I could come in and really get things going.”
“When I first got there for my visit it felt like home, a family atmosphere. Everyone seemed to care about each other and had each other’s back. I loved it out there,” Chris said.
Chris and Tim will join their former Scotland teammates Karfa Kaba and Amir McNeill, who signed with A&T last year, in Greensboro.
North Carolina A&T has one of the leading engineering programs in the state, which is what drew both Chris and Tim to the campus.
The Williams twins both plan on majoring in engineering — Tim plans to focus on electrical engineering while Chris will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
Electrical engineering deals with the designing, developing and testing the deployment of electrical systems and devices such as designing household appliances or the lighting and wiring of buildings.
Mechanical engineering deal with the design, construction and use of machines. Mechanical engineers manufactures everything from medical devices to batteries.
Along with being excellent students, both members of the National Honor Society, Chris and Tim were crucial pieces of the puzzle in helping the Fighting Scots play for a state championship.
Chris was a three-year starter for the Fighting Scots defense as a linebacker. For his efforts, Chris was named the SAC-8 Defensive Player of the Year. He led the Scots with 107 solo tackles, 12 for a loss, two sacks, two caused fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
“The leader of our defense, one of the smartest football players I’ve ever coached,” said Scots head coach Richard Bailey. “Coach Johnson said he’s the smartest one he’s ever coached. Without a doubt one of the best defensive players I’ve ever had. Conference Player of the Year, which was well deserved. He’s such a great kid which makes it so much more enjoyable.”
Tim was a member of the offensive line and was a two-time all-conference selection. Behind Tim and the rest of the offensive line, the Scots offense racked up 5,532 rushing yards, 990 passing yards and 93 touchdowns.
“He’s really improved as a player over the years. He always had size, but he really fine tuned his craft between his junior and senior year and just had an unbelievable year for us,” said Bailey. “Tim has been a great player for us, but the biggest thing is he’s been a great kid. It’s always refreshing to not have to worry about if a kid is eligible or going to do the right things in the school building. You can’t speak enough about the person, but on top of that he’s a great player.”
Both Chris and Tim are in the Top 15 in their senior class in terms of their grades, each maintaining above a 4.0 GPA. Balancing all of their extra curriculars along with school has prepared both of them for being full-time college students and Division I athletes.
“I think I can balance it out, it will be good experience for me,” said Tim.
The biggest motivation for both twins to excel at A&T is their mother Sharon — who both credit for their success courtesy of her encouragement.
“She don’t have to pay for college for two kids at the same time, that’s really great for her,” Chris said. “She’s always on my back about grades, school, working hard.”
“I worked the hardest I could, put the time in so she could see me do great,” Tim said.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]