He won the Heisman. Now he’s high, man. Go meet this pot-smoking ex-NFL legend, Boise

·2 min read

If your idea of a perfect Sunday involves bong rips and six hours of NFL RedZone channel, you’re in for a treat.

Ricky Williams is coming.

The weed-toking former running back is headed to Ontario, Oregon — Boise’s favorite nearby destination to buy the stuff legally.

Williams will appear Saturday and Sunday at Top Crop, a pot shop at 297 Southeast 10th St. A longtime marijuana advocate, Williams is promoting Highsman, his “cannabis lifestyle brand.” In addition to actual bud, the Highsman line includes clothing and accessories.

Top Crop’s event is the official “Highsman flower drop” at the cannabis store. From noon to 2 p.m. each day, Williams is scheduled to do a meet and greet, plus sign autographs. There also will be a catered barbecue and giveaways at the dispensary.

Williams, 45, is described as an “NFL legend” in a press release. A free spirit, he certainly has a legendary past.

Ricky Williams announced the launch of Highsman in 2021.
Ricky Williams announced the launch of Highsman in 2021.

After a record-breaking career at Texas, Williams won the 1998 Heisman Trophy. (Heisman? Highsman? Get it?) The fifth overall pick of the NFL Draft, the dreadlocked star went on to become the NFL’s leading rusher in 2002. But following a positive marijuana test, he retired from the Miami Dolphins in 2004 — stunning the sports world at 27 years old.

After missing a season, Williams served a four-game suspension, paid a fine and returned to the Dolphins in 2005. But he was suspended again for violating the league’s substance abuse policy — this time for the entire 2006 season. Williams returned to the Dolphins in 2007 and ended his career after the 2011 season as a Baltimore Raven.

Despite rushing for over 10,000 yards in the NFL, Williams often is remembered more for his marijuana drama — and for being the visor-obscured, yoga-and-vegetarian-loving “Ricky Weirdo.” Super Bowls? None. But superb bowls? That’s what Highsman is about. The brand’s motto? “Spark greatness.”

On the company’s website, Williams explains his thinking.

“Highsman is an appreciation for greatness and an appreciation for cannabis,” he says. “When I started experimenting with it recreationally, I became very reflective and a lot of the time the things I was reflecting on didn’t feel good to me. But through that inner reflection, I started making changes in myself – I realized that there was more to me than just being a football player, and it created an urge to start developing those other sides of myself. It was, and still is, my appreciation for cannabis that helped me to realize my potential for greatness outside the game of football.”

Earlier this year, Williams partnered Highsman with cannabis pre-roll brand Jeeter to sell a “Sticky Ricky” strain. Proceeds go to mental health nonprofit Athletes For Care.

“Mental health is a cause near and dear to Ricky,” according to a press release, “and he credits cannabis as a way to cope with his crippling social anxiety.”