Michigan State’s Raequan Williams Wants to Solve Chicago Gun Violence Epidemic


raequan williams

Michigan State Defensive Tackle Raequan Williams is a quiet guy who doesn’t get much media coverage, but he is a hero among his Spartans teammates. The players love to talk about Williams because he possesses tremendous leadership skills, and stands as an example of how someone can overcome major obstacles in life.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio likes to talk about Williams too. He smiled when the name of his 6’4″ 295 junior who won the MSU Iron Man Award (strength and conditioning) was brought up at Big Ten Media Days.


“He’s going to be the mayor of Chicago – write it down,” Dantonio said unexpectedly. “That’s his dream. It could happen.”

“He is a very grounded individual, a very pleasant person, quick to smile, quick to laugh, he prepares very hard, you can count on him as a person. He’s a joy to be around.”

“And, Raequan Williams – he’s going to be the mayor of Chicago one day…..You watch…..that’s his dream…….And he’s gonna get there……I’ll campaign for him, too….”

You can hear this discussion around the 4:30 mark of the recording below, from Dantonio’s time at the podium (the non-televised session) at Big Ten Media Days:

To be mayor, first and foremost you need leadership and we know that Williams has that in spades. He’s also a native of the city’s west side, hailing from an extremely dangerous neighborhood that has unfortunately become synonymous with gun violence.

The Founding Director of  Raequan Williams ‘ youth football team, the Garfield Park Gators, says eight of his former players have killed from gun violence during his 15 years in charge. It hits even closer to home for Williams, as he’s lost two family members to gunplay during his time away in East Lansing.

Mlive reports that:

“His younger brother, Corey Hill, was shot and killed in June 2017 at age 16 on Chicago’s west side. That was a little more than a year after Antonio Pollards, a cousin Williams considered a twin brother, was gunned down at age 18 not far from where Hill died.”

For obvious reasons, Raequan Williams is motivated to help try and fix the gun violence epidemic that plagues the city. It’s only natural that one day he would aspire to become Mayor and join the ranks of Harold Washington, Jane Byrne, Richard Daley (both the younger and the elder) and Rahm Emanuel.

Just this past weekend, two were shot, one fatally, in east Garfield Park. Marshall high school football player Kenwon Parker, 15, was struck in the chest and pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital. A 13-year-old boy has been charged in the case.

garfield park

Adversity is a word that gets thrown around way too much in sports, and 99% of the time it’s egregiously misused. Williams has overcome real, true adversity, and because of that the sky is truly the limit to what he can achieve in life. A life in politics, or whatever he chooses to do once football is over, is another article for another time.

In just ten days time, Raequan Williams and his #11 ranked Spartans teammates will open the 2018 season against Utah State. He’s coming off a season in which he accomplished a ton, both individually and with his position group. Last year he racked up 31 tackles, including 6.0 tackles for loss (23 yards) and 2.5 sacks (11 yards).

He started all 13 games and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media. The Gordon Tech (now called DePaul College Prep) alum helped anchor the interior of the nation’s #2 run defense (behind only Alabama) last season.

raequan williams

Very big things are expected of Raequan Williams and Michigan State football again this fall.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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