Tim’s Take: One dream ended early; Hopeful’s career stunted

Thaddaeus Williams had a dream.At 5 feet 11 inches and 280 pounds, Williams, an 18-year-old freshman from MacArthur High School in San Antonio, had enrolled in Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif., with plans of extending his football career.

“When he got there, his personality stood out,” said Matt Collins, Hartnell’s head football coach. “Just a real happy person, full of energy.”

This is where it gets good: After his two years at Hartnell, he wanted to put on the purple and white.

Williams aspired to be a Horned Frog.

“It was clear he had dreams and aspirations of playing not just Division I football, but football for TCU’s program,” Collins said.

He was going to be one of us.

Unfortunately, for those of us who didn’t know Williams, we will never truly appreciate what he could have brought to the university.

Williams died early Thursday morning after his brother, Langston Williams, allegedly fatally stabbed him over a dispute concerning a computer.


Telling stories like Williams’ never gets any easier.

Aside from being an A-caliber student and being involved in a religious group in the community, he would lighten up practices, often running with the skill-position players to separate himself from the pack, Collins said.

Could you imagine the sight of a 280-pound defensive lineman sprinting next to the likes of Aaron Brown? What a sight it would be.

In a time where some athletes don’t necessarily want to be on the team they’re on, Williams cared about being a Frog.

He might have been more than 1,600 miles away, but he was a lot closer to TCU than anyone could have imagined.

But now, that image will remain trapped in time.

No TCU experience for Williams. No all-night study sessions at Mary Couts Burnett Library and no flirting with the cute girl in his 1 p.m. class.

No, there will be none of that.

Collins said Williams would have been a leader for the Frogs through his play. Sounds like Gary Patterson would have taken to the man.

“He has made a lasting impression on these people for the rest of their lives,” Collins said. “You remember his smile, his laugh, his voice, his work ethic, his face. Twenty to 30 years down the line, you can’t wash that away from your memory.

“He’ll be there forever in our hearts and in our minds.”

And maybe he’ll be wearing the purple and white jersey he never did get the chance to wear.

Thaddaeus, you have completed your quest to the Mountain West.