CHARLOTTE — A ride at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a Belk Shopping spree, a reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame — Marquise Williams has enjoyed those Belk Bowl festivities, but nothing has compared to his first steps on the Mallard Creek High School football field for bowl practice Tuesday.
The last time he stepped on that field, he was Mallard Creek’s quarterback.
“It was unbelievable,” said Williams, now the starting quarterback for North Carolina. “I ran onto it, and I was like, ‘Man, this is back in high school days.’ I was just getting the chills, like, ‘Oh man, I used to play here.”’
A couple of weeks ago, Williams’ alma mater claimed its first-ever state title in a 59-21 blowout of Wake Forest High. Now, Williams will be looking to lead his current team to glory in today’s Belk Bowl against Cincinnati — and he’s expecting plenty of friends and family members to fill the Bank of America Stadium stands.
While at Mallard Creek, Williams made the state playoffs in his junior and senior years, leading the program to new heights following a one-win season in his freshman year. As a senior, Williams passed for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,000, establishing himself as a dual-threat quarterback.