The Sandhills will be cheering on one of its own during Super Bowl LVII.
Josh Williams, 23, is a Fayetteville native who attended Jack Britt High School and Fayetteville State University. He was the first HBCU student drafted into the NFL since 2020. Williams is a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs.
"He is by all means supposed to be there. Ever since he was little, the NFL is something he dreamed about. It's something he talked about," said George Williams, the football player's father.
Williams has been playing football since he was 5- years old. Inside his childhood home, there is a wall dedicated to his football accomplishments. His dad showed ABC11 reporter Akilah Davis pictures that tell the story behind his son's success.
"He didn't like losing. Tears would come out of his eyes when he'd lose a game. Losing sometimes is part of winning. You've got to learn how to lose so that you can become a more gracious winner," he said.
The Chiefs beat the Eagles 38-35 and Josh is a Super Bowl champion! His father sent ABC11 a photo of the two after the game.
Williams is the youngest of three children.
Bryan Johnson is his cousin, but the pair were raised like brothers. ABC11 asked him to share something few people know.
"He's actually hilarious. I don't know if anyone has picked up on that from any interviews he's done or meeting him face-to-face. He's probably one of the funniest dudes, but also one of the most level-headed," said Johnson. "He might be in the league, but I'm still a better football player than he is. I'm just going to put that out there. It's great to see him come this far because I know the work he's put in. He deserves it all."
During his time on the football team at Fayetteville State University, he played cornerback. His college coaches called him an impressive player. University leadership sees his success as a model for HBCU college football recruitment.
"I said to josh, 'you can be the bridge. For many cases where we only look a Division 1 players, there are a number of Division 2 players in the nation that deserve a shot. you can be the one for HBCU'S," said Chancellor Darrell Allison.
As Sunday draws near, Williams' father has a prediction for the big game.
"The Eagles are going to get dusted, but it's going to be a nice close game," he said.