GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- By now, scores of metro football fans probably know the name Xavier Williams.
"It’s just been an amazing journey the whole time through. It’s been great coming back home. The love and support that I’ve received since I returned has been great,” Williams said Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old is a Grandview native. He excelled on the wrestling and football teams at Grandview High School. He also made a name for himself at the University of Northern Iowa -- all before entering the NFL.
He played three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Then in March, the Kansas City Chiefs picked him up as their new defensive tackle.
And for No. 98, playing for his hometown team is indeed a dream come true.
"Everybody has that dream growing up in Kansas City if they're a football fan, you know, one day running out of the stadium, playing on the field, stuff like that, getting to wear the chiefs logo. And you know, it's wild that it actually got to be me," Williams said.
On Tuesday night, Grandview held a cool celebration for its hometown hero.
"It really was surreal and exciting. I just love the game of football, and I always felt that I would play at the top level, and that’s keeping me going. Plus, I had a great support bond with my family and everybody behind me,” Williams said.
Tuesday night, Grandview’s mayor and Board of Aldermen presented Williams with a proclamation honoring his high school, collegiate and NFL careers.
"We are just so proud of what you have done and what you are doing,” Mayor Leonard Jones Jr. said.
"I don’t know if he really has time to realize himself just how awesome it is. We are all so very proud of Xavier,” said Andy Leech, Williams’ former assistant high school football coach said.
But that's not all.
"We hereby proclaim the day Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018: Xavier Williams Day!" Jones said.
So how will the 6-foot-2, 300 pound hometown hero spend “his day” on Sunday?
”Oh that’s the million dollar question. I don’t really know right now. I’m gonna have to do something very Kansas Citian, maybe get some barbecue, have a little grill out. I’m not sure,” Williams said with a big laugh.