1997 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hall, Blackmon, Robertson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 575

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


WHEREAS, Ben Williams was one of the greatest defensive linemen in the history of the Ole Miss Rebels and the Buffalo Bills; and

WHEREAS, Ben was born on September 1, 1954, in Yazoo City and attended Yazoo City and St. Francis High Schools; and

WHEREAS, Robert Jerry Williams, Jr., served as captain of the 1971 Yazoo City High School team, earning two letters at tackle, earned two additional letters at two other high schools, and lettered in baseball at St. Francis; and

WHEREAS, Ben gained All Big 8 recognition and captained the North team in the 1972 Mississippi High School All Star game; and

WHEREAS, Ben was a three-time First Team All SEC pick at Ole Miss and a four-year starter for the Rebels from 1972-1975; and

WHEREAS, he played for three Rebel coaches--Billy Kinard, John Vaught and Ken Cooper, and had 377 career tackles and was moved from tackle to nose guard for his senior season; and

WHEREAS, it was during his college years that he came to be known as "Gentle" Ben; and

WHEREAS, he received numerous awards and recognition of his superior athletic prowess during his collegiate career, having been selected to the Knoxville News-Sentinel SEC All Rookie team in 1972, AP National Lineman of the Week, Outstanding Defensive Player in two ABC televised games, as well as being a three-time choice for SEC defensive player of the week; and

WHEREAS, in his junior year of 1973, Ben had 18 QB sacks for the season, which remains an Ole Miss record, and recorded a team best 96 tackles; and

WHEREAS, as co-captain of his team, he led the Rebels in tackles in his senior year with 116 stops; and

WHEREAS, also in his senior year, Ben was voted First Team All SEC and All American, named to the prestigious position of "Colonel Rebel" in the Ole Miss annual, played in the 1976 Senior Bowl, the 1976 Coaches Association All American Bowl, and the 1975 East-West game; and

WHEREAS, Robert Jerry Williams, Jr., was the 78th player drafted in the third round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills, and played in Buffalo from 1976 to 1985, playing 11 seasons in 150 games for the Bills, and started in 143 of those contests; and

WHEREAS, Ben was the starting left end for the Bills from 1977 until his retirement in 1985, and one of the top ends in Buffalo history, having started 80 consecutive games before he suffered a rotator cuff shoulder injury in 1984; and

WHEREAS, racking up 51 career QB sacks, Ben was a defensive force on the field for the Bills and the leading tackler for defensive linemen for Buffalo for the fifth time in his last six seasons, and led the Bills in sacks in 1980, 1981 and 1983; and

WHEREAS, Ben was named to the Pro Bowl in 1982, served as defensive co-captain beginning in 1982, won second team All AFC honors in 1979 on the UPI team, was named a member of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger Mississippi All-Time Team in 1984, named to the Bills' Silver Anniversary All-Time Team in 1984 and the Ole Miss Team of the Century in 1992, and inducted into the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame in 1993; and

WHEREAS, Ben Williams is now a successful businessman who enjoys playing softball and chess in his spare time; he and his wife, Linda, are the proud parents of three children, Rodrick, Alsha and Jarrett:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MISSISSIPPI STATE SENATE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby congratulate and commend "Gentle" Ben Williams upon the occasion of his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be given to Mr. Williams.