It’s safe to say that millions of people knew Andre Williams was a finalist for the 2013 Heisman Trophy before he did.
The Boston College senior running back -- the nation’s leading rusher with 2,102 yards -- wasn’t watching as former Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel announced the six finalists live on “SportsCenter” at around 6:15 on Monday night. Williams was at the Chestnut Hill mall instead.
“I was at the mall trying to get my attire ready for this week,” Williams said on a conference call Monday night.
So the 6-foot, 227-pounder from Schnecksville, Pa., found out by text that he’ll be one of six finalists to attend the trophy presentation on Saturday night in New York City (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).
“I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around it yet,” he said. “I’m still really blown away about it. I’m still sifting through all the congratulations and phone calls. It’s just a really awesome experience.
"I know it’s a big deal, but I don’t really know what the whole experience is going to entail in terms of the actual ceremony. I’m just looking forward to it and looking forward to being around all the other great athletes.”
The other finalists are Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Auburn running back Tre Mason and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Asked to handicap his odds of winning, Williams demurred.
“I was never really one in favor of statistics and chances and odds because more times than not they’re always against you,” he said with a chuckle. “I really just feel blessed just to have the opportunity to go to the ceremony and be around other great athletes. And whoever wins it, congrats to them because it’s a monumental achievement and to win it you’ll have had to have deserved it.”
While it’s the highest profile, the Heisman isn’t the only award for which Williams is a finalist. The big back will be in Orlando on Thursday night for “The Home Depot College Football Awards” show (7-9 p.m. ET on ESPN), as he’s a finalist for the Doak Walker Award -- given to the nation’s top running back -- and the Walter Camp Award.
And though the awards talk understandably has been centered on him, the humble Williams has made a point to credit his coaches and his offensive line for their roles in his record-setting season (establishing BC and ACC single-game and single-season records for rushing yards). Asked Monday night if he planned to share any of the frequent flier miles he’ll be accruing this week jetting from Boston to the various awards presentations with his O-linemen, Williams laughed before proposing his own unique reward.
“If I actually win the Heisman Trophy,” he said, “I’ll chop it up into equal pieces and they can all take a piece of it home.”
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.