Oct. 5, 2011
For the Good of the Team
By Jacob Neal, Media Relations Student Intern
A quiet guy with a humble disposition, senior Golden Eagle receiver William Spight does not command the attention of the room but still gives off a silent confidence to those around him.
Coming from Jefferson Davis High School, a 6A school in Montgomery, Ala., Spight was an all-around athlete playing football, baseball and basketball. Although Spight played many sports, he eventually had to narrow his decision down to one. In his junior year of high school Spight decided to focus on football full time. By the time Spight made it to Southern Miss, he had already been playing against the best talent Alabama had to offer and was no stranger to big lights and big expectations. However, it didn't start off that way. Nothing ever does.
"It was probably about fifth grade, my mom, Lindy Spight, made me play football. I remember we were in the car about to start practice, and I started crying. She was like, `Get out of my car and go out there.' She literally forced me to get out of the car, but ever since then I've loved it," recall Spight.
Not only did Ms. Spight have a hand in William's development as a football player, she practically made him the man he is today.
"My mom was all we had - me and my brother. She raised us on her own and even worked two jobs sometimes but always working hard," added Spight. "She taught me that at a young age, the value of hard work and commitment."
This instilment of values is no doubt a good reason why Spight has been successful in his endeavors here at the University. "There's a favorite quote of mine, something that Martin Luther King Jr., once said," Spight said. "'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.' I try to live my life that." He, along with his brother Mykel, who is entering the Air Force, is carrying on the values and beliefs that his mother passed onto him.
At 22, Spight has already completed his major and is currently finishing his minor in public relations. When his playing days are over, he plans on pursuing a career in the sports management field, either in upper management or dealing directly with the team. "Competition is essential to me," said Spight. "It keeps things interesting." And what else would you expect from a man who has spent his whole life competing on the field?
Spight was originally recruited as a cornerback when he came to Southern Miss in 2007; however, in order to help the team build depth, he was switched to wide receiver. His willingness, attitude, perseverance and athletic ability have gone on to make him a valuable part of the team and an essential part of the leadership to the group.
"As an older guy, all the distractions don't get to you like when you first get here. You get used to it, immune to it so to speak. So it's not hard to get what you have get done," added Spight.
This type of veteran attitude and focus is what makes William Spight such an essential part of the Eagle's team. He refuses to take all the credit however, "It's up to the coaches, administrative staff and us, the older players, to bring the young guys along."
Although Spight has not seen big statistics on the field, with just 295 receiving yards in his career with the Eagles, it is his intangible ability to be a leader among men that separates him from other players on the field. Spight's ability to get the most out of people and help raise players to their potential is a clear reason why he is a leader on this team.
Throughout his career Spight has been the image of the student-athlete and has no doubt had an impact on the people he has encountered. A consummate contender, he is always looking for ways in which his talents and skills can be used to help better others rather than just himself. A family man and a serious competitor, William Spight represents the Black and Gold as it should be.