"It is a big deal most for my family," the New Orleans native said. "I just wanted to make my family proud. No one in my family has accomplished it yet, I was the first person in my family and neighborhood to accomplish this.
"I don't know even anyone in my neighborhood that even went to college. So, it is just a big accomplishment because I feel like I have beaten so many odds."
The undisputed leader of the defense, Williams has been proud of what the defense has overcome this season. "I believe we were able to overcome a lot of adversity," he said. "A defense is going to give up big plays in Conference USA, it is a offense driven league so you have to expect it."
"Being able to bounce back after big plays was something that helped us a lot," he said, also adding that he felt they didn't meet expectations. "We still didn't meet our full potential this year, but we are thankful for the position we are in. We have eight wins, and that was better than last year. That is one of our goals is to be better than last year."
Of the many benefits of playing in a bowl game, one is the extra practice which can carry a team into the next season. "We just want to be able to send our seniors out right," he said. "We want to finally play a complete game defensively, because I don't think we've done that this season."
"We have been through a lot this year together this season, and I feel like it would mean so much to us to get that win. Also we want to do it for those three players that were hurt toward the end of the season."
Williams also spoke to the fact that he is excited to be playing an old rival in the Louisville Cardinals. "It is an old time Conference USA rivals," he said. "When they were in Conference USA, it was always a big game."
He also remembered last year's loss as a motivating factor this year. "Last year we lost it with a field goal at the end," he said. "When you give up games like that, you remember it. It is crazy that we get to go back and do it again and have a chance to get it back."
The Golden Eagles will take off from practice tomorrow so that they can participate in the final Southern Miss bowl social at Turtle Creek Mall from 1-3 p.m.