home sitesearch sitemap contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Football: Super mom supports Harris with flash – BeDazzling #46

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, Dec. 15, 2013


UL running back Alonzo Harris' mother, Tywanna Williams, cheers on her son at the South Alabama game earlier this month.
UL running back Alonzo Harris’ mother, Tywanna Williams, cheers on her son at the South Alabama game earlier this month. / Brad Kemp/RaginCajuns.com

When Tywanna Williams is in the stands and the Ragin’ Cajuns get the ball, she says one thing.

“Take it to the house.”

When Williams’ son, Cajuns first-team All-Sun Belt Conference running back Alonzo Harris, is the one who is handed the ball, she says one thing.

“Take it to the house.”

And when Harris runs, Williams does too, taking off wherever she can find room to move, feeling as if the ball is in her hands too, thinking, and saying to herself, one thing.

“That’s why I run when he runs,” she said. “I feel like we’re gonna both take it to the house.

“When I’m watching, I’m just waiting on something big, I guess,” Williams added. “All the time, I’m waiting to see, ‘Is he gonna get through this hole? Is he gonna bring it all the way in?’ ”

The junior running back has, 13 times this season and 32 times in his Cajun career.

He heads into Saturday night’s New Orleans Bowl game against Tulane with the fifth-most rushing touchdowns by a UL player in a single season, and with the third-most running touchdowns in Cajun history with 31, trailing only Brian Mitchell (47) and all-time leader Tyrell Fenroy (48).

Watching Harris play, however, is nothing new to Tywanna Williams.

She’s been going to his games since he started playing them at age 6, and at each one she’s been to, for as long as both can remember, she’s worn a jersey bearing the only number he’s ever worn.

The BeDazzling – which may make Harris’ number the most-sparkly 46 in college football today – was added to her ensemble only sometime after the product of Gadsden City High in Gadsden, Ala., made it to UL.

“I’m 46’s Mom,” said Williams, who travels whenever possible and plans to be hand when the 8-4 Cajuns play the 7-5 Green Wave on Saturday at the Superdome.

“I want them (other fans) to recognize the number more than anything – so when they see the field, they’ll see him.

“He loves it,” Williams added. “If I tell him I’m not coming – I know my son – he gets a little on the down side, or whatever. But Momma can’t make all the games. So I try to make as many as I can. But when he sees I’m there, he’s OK.”

He is.

He really is.

“She was always the biggest fan in the crowd to me,” Harris said. “As far as everybody else could see, she was the biggest fan just as well.”

The BeDazzling, then, only magnifies what he already knew.

“I think she added that before the bowl game last year,” Harris said, referencing UL’s 2012 New Orleans win over East Carolina, one in which he ran 21 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns, including a 68-yarder. “Everybody fell in love it with it.”

For Williams, using an as-advertised-on-TV tool that can be had on the Internet for $16.95 to decorate the 46 with studs and rhinestones serves to further make priceless the experience of watching her son run.

“I have a lot of fun,” she said.

“It definitely means a lot to her. She’s been this excited since I was knee-high to a grasshopper playing pee-wee ball,” Harris added. “(Now) it’s something to get away from work, have time to be with me and a couple other family members or maybe some friends.”

When Williams is able to get away from the chicken-processing plant in Alabama and catch a Cajun game – either in Lafayette, or often on the road – there is only one time from the start of the clock until the final whistle that she does not stand in place, pace or run herself.

“Now at halftime I’ll take a seat,” Williams said. “But, for the most part, I’m on my feet the whole game.”

These days, it’s always in the stands.

But on occasion back at Gadsden City High, it was on the sideline.

Williams even recalls being chastised a time or two by one of Harris’ old coaches for accidentally wandering in-bounds.

The way Harris sees it, it’s probably just as well that now Williams remains behind the side rails at Cajun games.

“I would love for her to be on the sideline,” he said. “But I think it would best if she stayed in the stands, because every time I took off running she’d probably actually come onto the field. That wouldn’t be too good for the team.”

Besides, he said, he can sense when she’s there.

Harris even admits to sometimes checking, just to make sure.

“Every time I break a run,” he said, “if I have time to look to the side she’ll be right there with me.”

Williams would have it no other way.

She wants to always be there for all her children, and especially Harris, her youngest of five, including three daughters and one other son.

“Sometimes you’re gonna have good days,” Williams said, “and sometimes you’ll have bad days. But I always trust God, and I always tell (Harris) that his destination was preordained by God. … I know God is orchestrating this whole thing.”

Whether he’s up or down, in the end zone or out, it’s simply sweet music for Harris to hear the cry.

To listen, that is, as Williams sings one song.

It has only five words.

“Take it to the house.”

“She knows how it makes me feel on the inside to see her,” Harris said.

“I didn’t really have a father in the picture, so she was both for me. She was just supportive, and I can only thank her for it. It’s just a phenomenal thing.”

UL running back Alonzo Harris’ mother, Tywanna Williams, isn’t usually tough to spot in a crowd. / Brad Kemp/RaginCajuns.com