Fort Scott, Kan. - Just three short years ago two Fort Scott Community College (FSCC) teammates were enjoying an incredible run playing Saturdays at FraryField in Fort Scott, Kansas, helping to qualify the Greyhounds for their third straight bowl game. Now Pro-Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul and NFL Rookie Jacquian Williams find themselves headed to Super Bowl XLVI.
While at FSCC Pierre-Paul and Williams made a huge impact on the up and coming football program. Starting in 2006 FSCC's football program began a turn around from a team that had not won a single game two years, to a record of 38-10 over the next four seasons. Williams was apart of that success in 2007 and 2008 and Pierre-Paul joined him for the 2008 season. From humble beginnings at FSCC, a place where the football team sometimes shares facilities with the rodeo team, to now preparing to play on the largest sports stage in the world, these two players rise has been tremendous.
It is no surprise to Greyhound fans or coaches that Pierre-Paul and Williams have reached this kind of success.
"To be able to come to Fort Scott away from your family and the environment that you are used to living in and be able to become All-American Football players as well as college graduates was the beginning for Jacquian and Jason," said former FSCC head coach Jeff Sims. "They know the sky is the limit for them both athletically and academically. I wouldn't put limitations on those two men once they set their sites on something. They are battle tested and will come out on top in whatever they choose to pursue."
During Williams' time at FSCC he received First Team All-American, First Team All-Conference, and KJCCC Player of the Week honors in 2008. Pierre-Paul in just one season earned Second Team All-American, FirstTeam All-Conference, and KJCCC Player of the Week honors.
Both players graduated from FSCC in the spring of 2009 and signed to play at the University of South Florida. The two would once again find themselves teammates when the New York Giants drafted Jacquian Williams in the sixth round in 2011. Pierre-Paul had been drafted just one-year prior with the Giants first-round pick, going 15th overall in the 2010 NFL draft.
In just his first year, Williams had to step up and play when the Giants were plagued with injuries. He took advantage of the opportunity and worked relentlessly to better himself as a player. Williams certainly surprised a few people in his rookie year and continued to thrill audiences during the NFC Championship game. In overtime, Williams stripped the ball on a punt return, which helped the Giants get great field position that lead to the game winning field goal.
Pierre-Paul has also been outstanding in this, his second year in the NFL. He made his first Pro Bowl team and finished the regular season fourth in sacks with 16.5.
Super Bowl XLVI will be about more than parties, commercials, and football for Greyhound fans. This year's game will be about two former FSCC players, being proud of what they have accomplished and remembering where they started.