By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Torrence Williams is winding down his sixth season with Elon’s football team. He’s hoping his impact with the Phoenix lasts even longer.
“I didn’t really have a lot of expectations coming in. I just wanted to do the best for my team,” Williams said this week with the regular-season home finale looming. “Now I can lead the younger guys and leave something behind for the next teams to be great. That’s all I care about.”
Williams is a Williams High School graduate, giving the Elon team some Alamance County flavor.
He’s a starting defensive tackle, a big man in the middle of the line for a nationally-ranked Football Championship Subdivision team.
“He provides veteran leadership. He’s a guy who practices hard. He’s going to bring his best every day so he can make people around him better. He brings a lot of energy.” – Elon head coach tony trisciani
Elon (6-3, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) is back in the FCS rankings at No. 19 after handling then-No. 12 Delaware 27-7 in last week’s home game. Next, Albany (2-6, 1-4) visits at 2:00 p.m. Saturday for a Senior Day game that’s part of the university’s homecoming.
“I’m just trying to live in the moment,” Williams said. “I’ll shed my tears when it gets here – after (the game). Right now, I’m just trying to make sure we get a win and see how far we can go.”
There could be more action this year at Rhodes Stadium in the FCS playoffs, but no more home games are guaranteed. So Williams wants to focus on what he can control.
“Make sure we’re all tapped in and squared away,” he said. “This is the only guaranteed one, but we’re shooting for another.”
Williams said he didn’t pay close attention to how Elon fared when he was growing up in Burlington. He joined the Phoenix weighing about 265 pounds.
He checked in at 301 pounds for last week’s game. So he’s visible, but that also comes because he’s accountable.
“As a team, our love and camaraderie and just the compassion we have for each other is a lot stronger than it has been.” – Torrence Williams
“He provides veteran leadership,” Elon coach Tony Trisciani said. “He’s a guy who practices hard. He’s going to bring his best every day so he can make people around him better. He brings a lot of energy.”
Williams made his first collegiate start in 2019. That opportunity made him want to make even bigger contributions.
“I know I gave my all, so no reason to look back on it,” he said. “Go on to the next.”
One of the developments that he’s most proud of is how Elon players have bonded.
“As a team, our love and camaraderie and just the compassion we have for each other is a lot stronger than it has been,” he said.
Naturally, Williams recognizes his improvements on and off the field. He’s in line for his 36th career start Saturday, which would be within one of the most of any player on the current team.
“I’m a lot more disciplined and I’m a lot more of a leader than I used to be,” he said.
With Nicholas Mintz and Isaiah Grice – best friends from high school – able to attend Elon games this season, Williams said that has been rewarding in his final season. Mintz and Grice finished their eligibility at Division III Averett last year.
Williams, 23, has a degree in sports management and expects to add a minor in leadership when he wraps up classes in December. He’d like to keep playing football, too.
“Keep training and see where it goes from there,” he said.