Manatee Seminole Club starts scholarship to honor Todd Williams' memory

jdill@bradenton.comJanuary 18, 2014 

Former NFL lineman Todd Williams greets fans at the Hometown Heroes charity event in Bradenton in February 2005. He was found diead on Jan. 6 in a south county hotel room where he had lived for six years. He was laid to rest Saturday after a funeral at the Happy Gospel Church.BRADENTON HERALD FILE

PAUL GONZALEZ VIDELA

MANATEE -- The Manatee Seminole Club announced a scholarship to honor the memory of Todd Williams, a day before the former Southeast High and Florida State football star's funeral.

Williams' funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Happy Gospel Church, 1915 53rd Ave. E.

The scholarship honors Williams' life. He overcame homelessness to earn a degree in criminology and sociology in four years from FSU. He was a redshirt freshman on FSU's 1999 national championship team and later earned All-ACC honors as an offensive lineman.

"If there is one person who wanted to change the lives of youth in Manatee County and encouraged each of them to earn an education, it would be Todd," Manatee Seminole Club endowed scholarship director Brett Pollock said in a news release. "We are proud to name this scholarship in his honor."

A tax deductible contribution can be made to the FSU Foundation, "Todd Williams Continuing Scholarship (F06901)" and mailed to P.O. Box 831, Bradenton, FL 34206-0831.

For more information, contact Pollock at 531-4386.

Williams was found deceased in the Sarasota Suites hotel room where he had lived for the past six years on Jan. 6.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office found Williams body after responding to a call when his mother, Ozepher Fluker, went to the hotel after not hearing from her son over the weekend.

Williams suffered from stomach pain for roughly a month, he said. The sheriff's office is awaiting the results of a toxicology report before determining a cause of death.

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