Lightning in cleats: Former Olympic sprinter Bracy-Williams gets a chance to play pro football in his hometown

Lightning in cleats: Former Olympic sprinter Bracy-Williams gets a chance to play pro football in his hometown

By Tom Alexander, Orlando Apollos Team Reporter


SAN ANTONIO — There are many fast players on the Orlando Apollos roster, but wide receiver Marvin Bracy-Williams, Jr. is, arguably, the fastest, and it may not even be close. The Orlando, Florida, native is a former U.S. Olympic sprinter with three straight U.S. National Championships in the 60 meters. Now, he’s in Orlando Apollos training camp in San Antonio, trying to win a spot on the team and play professional football in his hometown.

Bracy-Williams has been a two-sport athlete for most of his life. Growing up in Orlando’s Parramore community, Bracy-Williams played football and ran track at Boone High School, then spent some time on the football team at Florida State University. He left after a year to become a professional sprinter, eventually landing a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

While he saw great success as a sprinter, Bracy-Williams says football is his first love. “I’ve been playing football since I was six years old. I started running track [in] my 10th grade year. I only went out for track because my friends were doing it,” he said.

After his track career ended, Bracy-Williams decided to pursue football once again. After a five-year layoff from the game, the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts signed Bracy in 2017. He was released after a month, but ended up on the Seattle Seahawks’ radar. Seattle signed Bracy-Williams in July 2018, and he spent a few months in the Seahawks organization before being released once again.

Bracy-Williams says he’s happy to get the opportunity to play in his hometown, and for a coach like Orlando Apollos head coach Steve Spurrier. “Think about all the things that he’s accomplished throughout his coaching tenure, whether it was from Duke, to South Carolina and Florida — he uses small, fast guys like me. I’m honored to be able to be coached by him and to be a part of his system, to hopefully get open and open some things up for people underneath. I’m excited to be here and I love working with him,” Bracy-Williams said.

Bracy-Williams is one of many players on the Apollos roster who have ties to Central Florida, hoping to light up the scoreboard for their hometown fans when the Apollos take the field against the Atlanta Legends Saturday, February 9. The Apollos launch game is at Spectrum Stadium on the UCF campus. Get your tickets now: