The selection was made by the conference's Academic Affairs Committee and is presented on the basis of academic credentials and athletic performance.
A graduate student from Moorefield, W.Va., Williams will receive a $2,000 scholarship, which may be applied to graduate or professional studies.
Williams has been a three-year starter at middle linebacker for West Virginia. He was an All-Big East Second Team selection in 2009 after he had 68 tackles, two sacks, six tackles for loss, and seven pass breakups and was chosen as the Mountaineers' defensive MVP. Williams, who missed the entire 2008 season with injuries to both shoulders, was the Defensive MVP of the 2007-08 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl after helping the Mountaineers to a 48-28 win against Oklahoma. He was a member of two Big East championship teams, two teams that won BCS bowl games, three New Years Day bowl-winning teams and four bowl-qualifying teams. In addition to his on-field accolades, Williams earned ESPN The Magazine Academic-All America First Team honors in 2007 and was named to the Second Team in 2009. He was one of 16 national finalists for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy as the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame national scholar-athlete of the year. He was named to West Virginia's Dean's List in each of his five academic years and is a four-time Big East All-Academic selection.
Williams is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key national honor society. He has volunteered his time in a number of community service endeavors, including the West Virginia Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics, and a Marion County Division of State Police child advocacy fundraiser.
Williams is the third West Virginia player in the last six years to be chosen as the Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Former Mountaineer offensive tackle Garin Justice won in 2005 and linebacker Jay Henry was the 2006 winner.
The Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is one of a number of scholarships presented by the Big East Conference during the 2009-10 academic year. Thirty-two student-athletes (one male and one female from each of the Big East 's 16 member institutions) will receive postgraduate scholarships as the winners of their respective institutions' Scholar-Athlete Award. The conference also names a male and female Big East Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The winners of the institutional, football and basketball awards are then eligible for the Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which provides an additional postgraduate scholarship to one male and one female student-athlete.