WASHINGTON - Walking across the stage to receive your college diploma is a moment of major accomplishment in the life of every graduate. But for Ty Williams it meant so much more.
Williams, who played football for the Georgetown Hoyas, took a hard hit in the 2015 season opener that shattered vertebrae in his neck. Williams was left him unable to walk.
But after three years of surgery and rehabilitation, he made his way across the stage Saturday during his graduation ceremony to accept his diploma.
The incredible journey, that had a tragic start, showed the determination Williams had within himself.
"It was kind of surreal. I stood up, I didn't hear my name get called, I didn't hear anybody talking, all I heard was the clapping. I was thinking about walking and once I sat down I kind of just thought, "I did it!" he said describing the moment he walked across the stage.
"I told myself I was going to do it and it really means something once it actually happened. I was real happy about it."
"Whether we're playing home or away, Ty is always with us," said Georgetown football coach Rob Sgarlata. He said Williams still a part if the active roster and the team wears his number on their helmets.
Sgarlata said that getting a degree from Georgetown is a huge accomplishment by itself but for Williams to overcome the other obstacles he has had in his path has been nothing short of incredible.
"It's really hard to get up and haven a bad day, to be honest with you, when you just look at the example Ty sets for us on a daily basis," Sgarlata said.
Williams says he plans on staying at Georgretown to work on his master's degree in sports management.