Delaware State senior defensive lineman Isaiah Williams is not satisfied with strictly making an impact on the football field. He pushes the limits of his job description by partnering with Samaritan’s Feet and using his voice to promote the rich history of football at his university.
After four seasons of suiting up in bright cherry red and sky blue as a Hornet, Williams feels there has never been a more perfect time to become a leader for his team.
“As a leader, I always try to make sure I am leading from the front,” the veteran lineman said. “Regardless of if it’s drills in practice or anything else. If there’s a hard task, I try to show my teammates that although it is hard, it can be done. And it can be performed at a high level.”
On the field, Williams’ goals for the team are simple: win. He thinks the most important task the team will face is finishing out wins. The 6-foot-2 senior wants to push his teammates to play hard until the final whistle and win by any means necessary.
This season, Williams had a career-high of six tackles against Virginia University of Lynchburg and two sacks against Robert Morris University.
Samaritan’s Feet was introduced to Williams through his NIL agency and he knew it was an instant match. The organization aims to internationally provide shoes for underserved communities. The partnership between Samaritan’s Feet and Williams was established over the summer.
The union is still in its beginning stages and aims to host community events, establish donation sites, raise money to buy shoes for children, and set up lockers as shoe donation sites. Once the lockers in Delaware are in place, the New York native plans to expand efforts to his childhood neighborhood.
“Where I grew up in Coney Island, it was not the best place,” Williams said. “But a lot of athletes would come back to my neighborhood and give us shoes. My level of gratitude has gone through the roof. Samaritan’s Feet has taught and told me shoes are a child’s first vehicle to success.”
Williams is excited about being able to enter the team’s internal chat about service. In addition to Williams’ efforts, his teammates are self-starters when it comes to service and has their own individual efforts outside of external organizations: including food pantries for the homeless and back-to-school drives for elementary school students.
“We’re very fortunate to play college football,” Hornets head coach Rod Milstead said. “There are a lot of young kids that look at them and want to be where they are. Getting involved in things like reading to younger kids, mentoring, feeding the hungry, and even blood drives … any initiative that any kid comes up with or wants to do, we are all on board.”
Beyond using his voice to promote the message of giving, Williams narrated Once a Hornet, Always a Hornet. The short film uses Milstead’s career as a backdrop to document where Delaware State football has been, where it is, and where it’s going.
The documentary team won a $40,000 grant, allowing Williams to be able to introduce himself as an Emmy award-winning producer.
“I am very thankful for my professors and advisors,” Williams said. “They really pushed me to perform at a high level, even if that meant re-shooting a scene here and there. We wanted to get it right and did not want to do anything without purpose or intention.”
The students were invited to accept their award in late May. When the invitation was extended to Milstead, he respectfully declined because he wanted to keep the attention on the students.
When Williams hangs up his helmet and pads, Milstead expects to see Williams on a television screen after this glance at his broadcast production potential.
Williams has a large student-athlete plate to digest, but he is committed to enjoying his last chance to fly with the rest of his Hornets.
“More than halfway through the season, I’m still looking forward to raising the standard on this team,” Williams said. “I want every down to be my best down. I want every rep to be my best rep. I’m looking forward to continuing to make the most out of every opportunity to play.”