“When young people want to come to the University [of Texas], and they say, ‘oh yeah, the Campbell-Williams Field, those are two black men who came to this university and had a dream, just like I do in doing something different in life, and they did it and look what a gift they got.’”
That is Earl Campbell.
What’s in a name? When it comes to Campbell-Williams Field in Austin, Texas — named after Longhorn greats Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams — there’s strength. Legacy. Diversity. Inspiration, empowerment, and change. There’s proof that dreams can graduate into actions. Following in the footsteps of Julius Whittier, the first black letterman to play football at UT who’s forever memorialized with a statue in front of Campbell-Williams Field, the baton is being passed from generation to generation.
Two young black athletes who came to the University of Texas — 21 years apart — and left an impact forever. Campbell (1974-1977) and Williams (1995-1998) experienced the ultimate success on the football field, each winning the Heisman Trophy his senior year. But their legacies are about bringing positive change. To empower young people. They showed the world that the impossible is possible for anyone. As two of the best running backs of all time, the lasting impact they made was positive.
Today, with their names forever enshrined in Austin at Campbell-Williams Field at a time when the fight for equality is so strong in the air, the reminder stands.
No limits. Be the change you want to see, and be as great as it’s in you to be.
“Hopefully what exists is not just the name on the field, but the story behind it. I think that’s so much more powerful,” says Williams. “I want all of our kids, and their kids, and their kids, whenever they come back to look at Earl’s and my name on the field, and realize they had something to do with it, and we’re just representatives.”
In addition, Earl & Ricky will be donating their full proceeds to the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas.