Miles Williams ’15 didn’t get a phone call. He didn’t receive a letter or read an email.

Williams found out he was selected as a Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star through social media. 

“I was coming back home and I looked on social media and someone tagged me in a post,” Williams said. “Someone said 'Congratulations' to me.”

Williams is one of 52 winners of the 18th annual award, announced Jan. 8, 2016. The former Elon University football defensive back graduated from Elon in May, 2015, but stayed for another semester as a graduate student to use his final year of eligibility. 

“It’s a recognition that he certainly is deserving of,” said Elon head coach Rich Skrosky. “And when you think about a student-athlete, he is the epitome of it. CQ MS

"He has great leadership and his passion is the greatest thing about him.”

The honor comes to Williams after he achieved a 3.55 GPA as a human services studies major. He was a two-time captain for the football team, starting all 11 games in 2015 and playing in 43 games over his four years of eligibility.  Even though Williams produced solid schoolwork during his time at Elon, the honor caught him off guard.

“It was a little unexpected,” Williams said. “I didn’t know I was in the running for the team or how it’s chosen.”

Yet the honor is still something he doesn’t take lightly.

“Accolades aren’t anything I strive for, but I just try to be myself,” he said. “To be able to be credited for the hard work I put in the classroom, as well as on the field, is special. And to be the first defensive player to do it for Elon is cool for me.”

Williams has moved on from Elon, leaving the state at the end of the Fall semester. He currently is working as a teaching assistant at a school on the south side of Chicago. He left a lasting impression on his former head coach, especially with his play in the final games at Elon.

“His best games were maybe the last three games of the season,” Skrosky said. “You could tell it meant a lot to him. To be recognized [for off-the-field] as well — and that’s a pretty distinguished list — we’re proud of him.”