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The long way to 10,000 yards

1998: RICKY WILLIAMS Running Back, Texas Ricky Williams

Running Back, Texas
Ricky Williams holds or shares 20 collegiate football records including career rushing touchdowns (73) and scoring record (452). He graduated as the NCAA's leading rusher with 6,279 yards, and won the Heisman by more than 1,500 points. Credit: AP

That Ricky Williams would become a 10,000-yard rusher in the NFL wouldn’t have been a surprise to those who followed his career at Texas and then as the No. 1 pick of the Saints in 1999 draft. But getting to that mark at age 34? Well, that was a surprise. 

Williams has been a mercurial presence in the NFL, often seeming disinterested in playing, once getting suspended for violating the NFL’s drug policy and even retiring briefly in 2004.

But Williams has enjoyed the latter part of his career, even as a backup now with the Ravens. Williams needs 97 yards to reach 10,000 for his career.

“Ricky’s played the role exactly that we would like for him to play,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a very good back. He’s run the ball hard, he’s broke tackles, made plays for us. Ricky’s a big part of what we’re doing, and I’m sure glad we got him.” 

New York Sports