NC State honors former DE Williams
Posted August 30
NC State honored former Wolfpack defensive end Mario Williams during their season opener against Georgia Southern Saturday.
"It's great to be out here and see all the fans in the first game," said Williams. "It's like a family tie. It's just home. That's the biggest reason why I came here when I got recruited and I still feel the same way."
Williams, who played for NC State from 2003-05, is the only player in ACC history to be drafted No. 1 overall in the NFL draft.
The Richlands native will have his name and number 9 added to the row of legends on the facade of Carter-Finely stadium. Future Wolfpack players that wear No. 9 jerseys will wear a patch commemorating his accomplishments.
"It's very exciting, I think the biggest thing is it's an honor to see guys, well one player per year, run out there with that number and the patch," said Williams. "But the only thing I'm really worried about is us winning games."
Williams said the most important thing for a team to do is respect one another and hopes that the player who wears his number each year honors that.
"I think the most important thing is going out there and being unselfish and being able to have your teammates count on you to go out there and play ball," said Williams. "I think that's the biggest thing about when I was playing here, was we all felt the same way about one another. With the highs and the lows, it didn't matter we all looked at each other as brothers, as family."
Prior to the game, NC State head coach Dave Doeren asked Williams to run out of the tunnel with the team but Williams declined.
"I don''t want anything to be distracted by me," said Williams. "I definitely appreciate the honor and I respect everything that's going on in this organization, but today's the first day of Wolfpack ball."
Williams still holds the single-season and career tackle for loss and sack records at NC State.
After six years playing for the Houston Texans, the current Buffalo Bills starter has totaled 76.5 sacks in the NFL and is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.