Smith-Williams 'Setting the Expectation' At Shrine Game

Brett Friedlander

James Smith-Williams has made a positive impression at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Tampa this week.

And not just for his performance on the field.

The former NC State defensive end, who earned a spot on college football's Good Works Team in 2019 for his participation with the #Set the Expectation movement, is using the forum of the postseason all-star game to raise awareness to the battle against sexual and physical violence against women.

Smith-Williams will be wearing special cleats in "#Set the Expectation colors, provided by the organization's founder Brenda Tracy, is Saturday's nationally televised game at Tropicana Field. He is also one of several players that will be sporting #Set the Expecation ribbons on their helmets.

"To say I’m proud of (Smith-Williams) would be an understatement," Tracy wrote on her Twitter page. "His dedication to #SetTheExpectation is truly inspiring. He is the change we need to see in the world & proof that when survivors are believed & supported - real change can happen."

Tracy is a rape survivor who was attacked by four football players at Oregon State in 2014.

Two years later, she began traveling around the country sharing her story with college football programs in an attempt to educate young men about the problem of sexual abuse and challenge them to make a difference for victims such as herself.

“Her message is extremely moving,” Smith-Williams said last May. “She gave us an actual challenge and I wanted to help out any way that I could.”

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound senior, whose final season with the Wolfpack was limited to just seven games because of injury, has become a vocal advocate for #Set the Expectation.

He organized a donation drive at a baseball game to benefit Interact of Wake County, an organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and was also instrumental in setting up a #SetTheExpectation promotion during State's football game against Ball State on Sept. 21.

Smith-Williams will be playing for the East team in Saturday's game, which can be seen live on the NFL Network, Saturday at 3 p.m.

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