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Isaiah Williams named semifinalist for Man of the Year Award

Another potential award for the Illini captain.

The Champaign Room - David Pollak

Isaiah Williams continues to be recognized for his greatness in uniform and in character.

The junior wide receiver was named a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award. This was announced by the award’s selection committee on Wednesday.

The honor is presented yearly to a college football student-athlete who represents courage, integrity, and sportsmanship in a leadership capacity on and off the field.

Williams is one of just 20 semifinalists for this year’s award and joins the likes of Blake Corum (Michigan), Sam Hartman (Notre Dame) and Caleb Williams (Southern Cal) as honorees. That’s not too bad of company to be around.

Previous winners of the award include UCF’s Shaquem Griffin, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger and Kentucky’s Josh Paschal.

As a two-time Illinois captain, Williams has had a key role in the shift of the culture of Illinois football.

Williams has also been named a member of the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List and a semifinalist for the the William V. Campbell Trophy in the 2023 season. He’s a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

On the field, Williams has led all Illini players in receptions, receiving yards, receiving yards per game and has the longest reception of this year’s campaign with his 49 yard catch at Purdue.

Off the field, he has been voted to the board of EMPOWER, which is Illinois’ diversity and inclusion group for student-athletes. Williams also volunteers his time to help single mothers and helped raise funds for himself and other Illinois student-athletes to take a mission trip to Africa to improve one of the poorest communities in the world.

The wide receiver has served as a flag football coach in a nearby league in Tuscola, Illinois and has visited nearly every high school in the Champaign area.

Created in honor of 2012 Walter Payton Man of the Year and 11-time pro bowl Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, the Witten Man of the Year Award committee will name three finalists on Dec. 13.

The seventh annual trophy will be presented to the winning recipient at a ceremony in Frisco, Texas, on Feb. 15.