Jan 7, 2022 - Business

Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams' very best Austin day

Ricky Williams, flashing a Hook 'Em sign.
Former player Ricky Williams of the Texas Longhorns stands on the sideline of a football game in 2016, flashing a Hook 'Em sign. Photo: Brian Bahr/Getty Images

We recently caught up with Ricky Williams, the famed former University of Texas football player and Heisman trophy winner, who now lives full-time in California, but travels to Austin regularly to visit his kids.

  • Williams recently launched a cannabis lifestyle branding company called Highsman, and he's a professional astrologer.

Student athletes can now make money off their names, images and likenesses. Do you envy that you couldn't cash in on your name when you were a college student?

I'm speaking from an advantaged position, but while the money is great, I'm not in the party of thinking it solves everyone's problems. It's great that these young men and women are being compensated for their talent. But there's something about youth that should be focused on development as a person.

If you were a player today, would you sing along to the "Eyes of Texas?" (The UT song has been embroiled in controversy over its roots in minstrelsy.)

Personally, I'd still stand at the end of the game and put my horns up. But I'm older and grew up in a time when activism wasn't as popular.

What makes Highsman different from other cannabis companies?

We bring sports and cannabis together.
I was told growing up that if you smoke pot, you're going to be a loser. That was the message. There are tons of people out there who love sports and love cannabis. Our brand allows people to express that love. I know that if you go hard in the world, you need recovery. You need to relax. You need perspective.

By state law, the weed you sell isn't commercially available in Texas. Are you planning to talk with lawmakers about that?

It's something I've been thinking about a lot. I'd like to think there's a sympathetic ear, and I have an authentic voice.

What makes a great astrologer?

It takes some study, since you have to understand the system to utilize it. And I think beyond that, life experience. You can be a decent astrologer when you're young. But in the Bible and other texts, astrologers are called wise men. The system of astrology helps you understand the universe and your place in it, and as with many things, age and experience helps.

Tell me about your perfect day in Austin.

I'm not really a big breakfast person. I'd sleep in and around 10, go get Elijah, my 11 year-old. We'd go to a batting cage or throw a football around — watch a game if it's on.
I'd meet a friend for dinner and probably go to Uchi and then finish up at Magnolia Café for some apple pie. And probably some chips and salsa.

Not the queso?

I'm like 20% queso, 80% salsa. So, yeah, the chips and salsa.

Apple pie and chips and salsa? You missed lunch.

I'd take my son to P.Terry's or Chik-fil-A. I like P.Terry's, but he likes Chick-fil-A.
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